Our Opinion: Minimum drinking age should be lowered to 18

The United States is the land of opportunity, home base of the free world and one of few countries that prevents its adults from consuming alcohol. So why then do we allow the government to get involved with our personal choice?

In 1984, the National Minimum Drinking Age Act was passed and rode the coattails of the Federal Aid Highway Act, essentially rendering individual states powerless against the big bad government.

The legislation consumed the states’ individuals’ rights. States could not, and still cannot survive without the additional ten percent increase of annual highway funding provided by the Highway Act. But now, that funding is running low.

In the 14 years since the Minimum Drinking Age Act was passed, drunk driving accidents have decreased significantly, but unfortunately, our commitment to truth and knowledge has fizzled out.

We live in an environment where some can and some can’t. Envy from underclassmen induces curiosity which results in binge drinking; underage students try to prove to the legal ones, “I can too.”

This issue recently raised concern among over 100 university presidents (sans Shalala) who signed the Amethyst Initiative. The initiative suggests that the current drinking age promotes binge drinking and should be lowered back to 18. Whether or not you agree, it is important to make an informed decision.

It is our responsibility to learn and teach about this demonized drug. Just because society has deemed something illegal does not mean we should ignore our obligation to educate. We must learn to respect and appreciate alcohol, and we must do the same for ourselves.

Lowering the drinking age back to 18 may not save lives directly, but faith in personal choice and education certainly will.

Editorials represent the majority of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.

August 25, 2008


Editorial Board

The Miami Hurricane

6 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Our Opinion: Minimum drinking age should be lowered to 18”

  1. i think that all the drinking age should be 18 because i think it should be for adults

  2. Chaparro says:

    In my opinion, the drinking age should be lowered to 18. Once somebody turns 18 they are considered an adult. Even at the age of 18, people can join the military or armed forces. The government lets people fight and die for their country, but won’t let them do a simple thing as have a beer.

  3. bebe says:

    i think that either way they are going to be responsible because they are considered as adults

  4. new new kallis says:

    the driniing age should be lowered because 18 is considered u as an adult and u can do what you want to do

  5. Kenneth Moser says:

    The drinking age should remain at 21. Originally before the drinking age was raised to 21 in 1984. most States had different minimum drinking ages such as 18, 19 etc. Thus for example when the drinking age in NJ was 21, youngsters drove into NY where the age was 18. As a consequence a number of youngsters when returning to NJ were involved in traffic accidents or even worse killed!
    Lowering the drinking age to 18 will not stop underage drinking. Children 13 through 17 are constantly being picked up for underage drinking. No one can stop an 18 year old college student from drinking. But are your parents willing to face the consequences?

    Kenneth Moser West Allenhurst, NJ
    UM Class of ’62

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.