Drinking Age Lowered to 18?

A drinking age of 18? This would be the case if the college presidents from 100 of the best-known U.S. universities get their way.

Rick Gershon / Getty Images file

Credit: Rick Gershon / Getty Images file

From the Associated Press:

College presidents across the nation are calling on lawmakers to consider lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18, saying current laws actually encourage dangerous binge drinking on campus.

The movement called the Amethyst Initiative began quietly recruiting presidents more than a year ago to provoke national debate about the U.S. drinking age, which is among the highest in the world.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving says lowering the drinking age would lead to more fatal car crashes. It accuses the presidents of misrepresenting science and looking for an easy way out of an inconvenient problem. MADD officials are even urging parents to think carefully about the safety of colleges whose presidents have signed on.

Research has found more than 40 percent of college students reported at least one symptom of alcohol abuse or dependence. One study has estimated more than 500,000 full-time students at four-year colleges suffer injuries each year related in some way to drinking, and about 1,700 die in such accidents.

A recent Associated Press analysis of federal records found that 157 college-age people, 18 to 23, drank themselves to death from 1999 through 2005.

I think that it’s interesting that this law is being brought into question but I understand that the chances that it will be overturned is very low. From my college days, I remember that students under the age of 21 typically found a way to drink whether it was legal or not. It will be interesting to see how this situation develops. Thoughts?

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