To Be Lowered or Not to Be Lowered: That is the Drunken Question

Darrell Fullmer and Chris Rossmann

Tragedy struck Statesboro when 18-year-old Michael Gatto died outside a bar near campus this semester.

Since the incident, debate about alcohol has gained a lot of attention. On component that entral to the debate is how common underage drinking is and whether the drinking age should be lowered to 18.

Proponents for lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18 argue that lowering the drinking age can reduce unsafe drinking activities and be safer for society in general.

Healthresearchfunding.org recently released an article discussing the positives and negatives of lowering the drinking age.

According to the article, studies have found that one of the most dangerous times for drinking in the U.S. is between the ages of 18 and 20. By age 18, most people gain full rights as legal adults, except the right to drink.

Teenagers in this age range are more likely to rebel because of this, and find riskier ways to drink, like going to house parties or convincing their older friends to buy them drinks. By allowing even a supervised drinking ability to those in this age bracket, it could reduce or eliminate these risky drinking situations by removing the thrill of drinking.

The primary issue with lowering the drinking age is an increase in the number of drunk driving accidents in the U.S. Many studies have showed that thousands of lives have been saved because of the current drinking age limit.

Nicole Withers, an administrative coordinator for the department of student affairs, thinks that this is the biggest hurdle to lowering the drinking age.

“My biggest concern with lowering the drinking age is how it would impact the rate of students drinking and driving,” Withers said. “The whole reason the age was raised to 21 in the 1970’s was to diminish the number of fatalities in drunk driving accidents.”

According to a USA Today article, research published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs links the current drinking age with saving 900 lives every year. The study, conducted in 2006, found that the age cap keeps young, drunk drivers off the road, leading to fewer potential hazards.

The study shows that the older the driver is, the less likely they will get behind the wheel to drive drunk. Maturity is the primary factor that comes into play when discussing the drinking age, and the amount of drinking that occurs at college shows the a lack of maturity.

At the end of the day, safe drinking is the responsibility of the people drinking. No matter the drinking age, the responsibility will always fall to the person buying and consuming the alcohol.

Your View

“No, the problem that most people have with the drinking age is because people are still getting alcohol underage. With the 21 age limit, 18 year olds are still getting alcohol and if you lower the drinking age then 16 year olds will then try to get alcohol.”

-Justin Siegal, freshman computer science major

“Yes, it’s known as a forbidden fruit so when underage teens get a hold of a drink they will drink more because they do not know when they can drink again.”

-Artem Papkov, freshman nursing and music performance major

“Yes, it will decrease the arrests for underage drinkers. If they can smoke and be considered an adult, they should be able to drink.”

-Ben Cork, freshman music performance major