Every few years the debate about lowering the drinking age to 18 gets tossed around with both sides citing safety concerns. Those who wish to lower the drinking age argue that most teens are obtaining alcohol illegally and instead of outlawing drinking states should come up with ways to promote safer consumption. Those opposed to lowering the current drinking age have voiced concern over teen’s safety and now they may have some concrete evidence to back their claims.
The Boston Herald reports about a Boston University study that suggests the current drinking age laws are right where they should be. Author of the study William DeJong hopes that his latest analysis titled “Cased Closed” will end the debate over the drinking age, he says “I really wanted the public to know the evidence in support of the law is overwhelming. This debate really should be declared over.”
Dejong’s paper includes findings from various studies and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s estimate that the current law saves 900 lives per year and “Lowering the legal drinking age would lead to a substantial increase in injuries, deaths and other negative health-related consequences.”
Dejong realizes that this particular law is often broken on college campuses and among high schoolers and needs to be better enforced to have more of an impact. But he also feels that the current law sends a message of caution much like speed limits.
What do you think of the current drinking age?
Do you think 21 is an appropriate age to drink alcohol?