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.