on the photo above. It lends new meaning to the drinking
term "Bottoms Up!"
Chief Wants Drinking Age Lowered
Chief Wants Drinking Age Lowered
Boulder, Colo., Police Chief Mark Beckner's viewpoint is one of several in a Lesley Stahl 60 Minutes report that examines the drinking law debate.
If the drinking age were lowered from 21 to 18, says Beckner, "The overall advantage is we're not trying to enforce a law thats unenforceable."
"The abuse of alcohol and the over-consumption of alcohol and DUI driving...are the areas weve got to focus our efforts. Not on chasing kids around trying to give them a ticket for having a cup of beer in their hand," Beckner tells Stahl.
John McCardell, former president of Middlebury College in Vermont, agrees and points to what he considers an even worse effect of the older drinking age. "This law has been an abysmal failure. It hasnt reduced or eliminated drinking. It has simply driven it underground, behind closed doors, into the most risky and least manageable of settings," says McCardell, who launched a national campaign to lower the drinking age.
A tragedy in Boulder underscores McCardell's point. At a fraternity near the campus of The University of Colorado at Boulder, 18-year-old Gordie Bailey died of alcohol poisoning during a fraternity initiation. His mother and stepfather feel the reason no one at the fraternity called authorities when their son passed out was fear of being caught breaking a law. "They had minors buying the alcohol, serving the alcohol to minors," says stepfather Michael Lanahan. "They had to make a decision about what they were going to do and unfortunately they made the wrong decision."
The drinking age was raised in the mid 1980s to help lower highway fatalities, but the Surgeon General estimates that 3,000 kids under 21 are dying of alcohol related deaths that do not involve driving.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving has another view. "The inconvenient truth is that a drinking age at 18 would cause more funerals. Nine hundred families a year would have to bury a teenager," predicts Chuck Hurley, executive director of MADD. "When the United States reduced its drinking age in the seventies it was a public health disaster. Death rates in the states that reduced their drinking age jumped 10 to 40 percent," he tells Stahl. Hurley also says the 18-year-olds - some still in high school - would be buying for their younger schoolmates creating a trickle-down effect of more drinking at earlier ages.
lowering the age is a long shot, but still thinks that doing
so, with mandatory education, is the best solution. Why not
make high schools teach alcohol courses like driver's
education and let them dispense drinking licenses because
kids will drink either way, says McCardell. "We have lived
through prohibition. We know prohibition doesn't work. We
know that on our college campuses. We know that in our
households. We know that in our military," McCardell tells
Drinking Higher Where Alcohol Outlets Proliferate
The Los Angeles Times reported Dec. 29 that drinking rates were higher among 12- to 17-year-olds who lived within a half-mile of an alcohol outlet, and that minority neighborhoods tended to have a higher density of alcohol outlets than predominantly white communities.
How do alcohol outlets affect communities?
"Our study suggests that living in close proximity to alcohol outlets is a risk factor for youth," according to the researchers. "In California, retail licenses are not typically approved within 100 feet of a residence or within 600 feet of schools, public playgrounds and nonprofit youth facilities, but proximity by itself is not sufficient to deny a license ... More attention on the proximity rule is needed and environmental interventions need to curb opportunities for youth to get alcohol from commercial sources."
The research was
published online ahead of publication in the American
Journal of Public Health.
'Beerfest' Celebrates Binge Drinking
The Jager Bomb - Coming to a Neighborhood Near You
Winter Break saw a new mix. Bars were selling small buckets of ice, a pint of liquor and a large energy drink like a 24 ounce Monster. The students mix it all together, drink it down, and dance all night.
Think about it!