Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Let 18 Year Olds Legally Drink

If you’ve ever been 17 and tried to get a total stranger to buy you a case of beer for ten bucks, you know how easy it is to partake in underage drinking.

I smile when I think about it. I grimace when I think of my own children trying it and I could easily begin to sob thinking about the stupid things I did under the influence of alcohol, and all of the people I could have harmed while doing so...

However, making young adults wait unit they are 21 to drink does not stop them from drinking. It may stop them from purchasing alcoholic beverages – but not from consuming them. As long as Budweiser, Jack Daniels and all of their competitors flood the airways with positive impressions of drinking – young people will want to drink.

The argument that an 18 year old can choose our president and can be blown apart by an IED, but cannot buy a beer never made sense to me when I was 18 and in the military - and it still doesn't pass the smell test today.

If we want to reduce underage drinking and curb alcohol abuse we need to change our values. Show a man from outer space the same number of commercials young people in this country view on a weekly basis for alcoholic beverages, and within a month, the alien will be buying beer and getting a prescription for Viagra.

True change comes from education - not legislation. Lower the drinking age and stop making criminals out of young adults.