The Instigator
imscrappy
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
Mestari
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points

The legal age for purchasing and consuming alcohol should be 18 in the United States.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Mestari
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/6/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 833 times Debate No: 17806
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)

 

imscrappy

Pro

Welcome to a another quick debate and I wish my opponent luck.
Mestari

Con

I accept my opponent's challenge and look forward to an educational and entertaining discussion.
Debate Round No. 1
imscrappy

Pro

If our citizens are given the rights of suffrage, to enter into marriage, and to join the armed forces in defense of our rights, it is only makes sense that they be given the right to purchase and consume alcohol. Additionally, an National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report concluded that there was a much lower percentage of alcohol related crash rates in countries where the legal drinking age was lower than in the United States. The reductions in these types of incidents can be attributed to earlier exposure and experience with alcohol consumption that affords individuals the opportunity to learn their limits. It is worth noting that many of these countries also have lower legal blood alcohol levels and and stiffer penalties, resulting in the consumers making wiser decisions.

http://www.nhtsa.gov...
Mestari

Con

Contention 1: The Social Aspect

Let's face it, kids break the law. High school children these days love to party and they love to drink. The problem is actually buying the alcohol though. The current drinking age of 21 prevents youth from obtaining alcohol to consume at parties. If it were lowered to 18 then the seniors would buy several cases, bring it to parties, and let all of the 14-17 year olds drink some. Rather than claiming an independent impact to this contention, I would rather it function as an observation for the judges to keep in mind while reading over the cognitive arguments I will present when answering my opponent's arguments.

A2: Suffrage/Marriage/Armed Forces


My opponent is correct in stating that the age of 18 is when you are granted the ability to vote, get married and join the armed forces. However, he fails to realize that this is due to societal norms and nothing else. Furthermore, being 18 and being 21 also does not provide an objective difference in your ability to competently vote, choose a mate, or serve our country in the military. There is no scientific reason as to why a line should be drawn there.

The magic number 18 does not, however, grant you full cognitive development. This arbitrary number was picked as the standard for adulthood long ago before psychological studies proved that the brain has yet to fully develop at this age.

"Specifically, the American Medical Association reports that '…frontal lobe development and the refinement of pathways and connections continue until age 16, and a high rate of energy is used as the brain matures until age 20.'
'The hippocampus handles many types of memory and learning and suffers from the worst alcohol-related brain damage in teens. Those who had been drinking more and for longer had significantly smaller hippocampi (10 percent)'" [1].

As you can see, while 3 years of age may not affect your ability to fight in the military, it does influence your cognitive development and vulnerability to long-term damage suffered from alcohol. If we allow the brain to fully develop before people start drinking alcohol, we reduce the risk of permament damage.

A2: Reduced Car Crashes

1. Causation/Correlation

My opponent's study is a representation of correlation, not causation. Citizens of these other countries have different lifestyles than American children. They have a greater respect for authority and listen when learning to drive. They are not spoiled so they do not believe that they are 'above' society and therefore obey driving laws. Lowering the drinking age doesn't cause a society to be more mature and reasonable. My opponnt also casts a shadow of doubt over the possibility of the study proving causation by mentioning stricter laws on blood alcohol levels. He directly attributes wiser decision-making to this. It's possible to impose stricter laws while retaining the age limit of 21.

2. Turn: Lowering the legal drinking age increases car accidents.

"IIHS's first study in 1974 looked at two states and one Canadian province that lowered the drinking age, carefully comparing their experience to that of adjacent states that did not change. That study showed that the number of 15-20 year-olds involved in fatal crashes increased in the jurisdictions that lowered the drinking age.

Subsequently, in the late 1970s, states began to increase drinking ages again. Again, it was possible to compare states that made this change to states that didn't. Again, we saw a change related to the drinking age — this time, fatal crash rates declined as teen drinking and teen drinking and driving declined" [2].


Closing Note


"Each year, approximately 5,000 young people under the age of 21 die as a result of underage drinking; this includes about 1,900 deaths from motor vehicle crashes, 1,600 as a result of homicides, 300 from suicide, as well as hundreds from other injuries such as falls, burns, and drownings" [3].

Do we really want to lower the drinking age to 18 and increase the access youth has to alcohol? imscrappy, are you okay with letting these kids die because of their poor decisions when we could have prevented them from making bad choices in the first place?


1. http://www.chooseresponsibility.org...
2. http://www.iihs.org...
3. http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov...
Debate Round No. 2
imscrappy

Pro

imscrappy forfeited this round.
Mestari

Con

Mestari forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by imscrappy 5 years ago
imscrappy
Congratulations Mestari, I appreciate you taking the time to debate this topic with me.
Posted by imscrappy 5 years ago
imscrappy
@PartamRuhem - thanks for the feedback. It was not my intention to forfeit responses, but got unexpectedly pulled away.
Posted by imscrappy 5 years ago
imscrappy
@Mestari - not a problem at all ... my eyes haven't yet deteriorated to the point that I had to break out a magnifying glass. 8^)
Posted by Mestari 5 years ago
Mestari
I apologize for the tiny round 2 font.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by randolph7 5 years ago
randolph7
imscrappyMestariTied
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Total points awarded:16 
Reasons for voting decision: Tiny font was hard to read (con). Con effectively rebutted pro's argument and provided proof why 21 should be the drinking age. Conduct against pro for the forfeit.
Vote Placed by PartamRuhem 5 years ago
PartamRuhem
imscrappyMestariTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro based most of his points on his opinion, while Con cited sources and studies, which alone gave him the win. The only things Pro did source was in relation to foreign countries, which doesn't relate to the United States and our lifestyles, and Con also pointed that out. Great job Mestari. imscrappy, you should extend your arguments more and not forfeit....