Social Circle: Should the drinking age be 18?
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For a while in the mid-1900s, the drinking age was lowered to 18 for beer consumption. In 1972, the drinking age was set at 18 for all alcoholic beverages, but it was raised to 19 in 1984 and back to 21 in 1986. (Anyone can drink when parents or legal guardians are present.)
There's no chance of it happening, but this week, OnMilwaukee.com asked the Social Circle if they think the drinking age should be lowered to 18 instead of 21. Most people believe that the drinking age should be 18 because at that age a person can vote or serve in the military. A few people, however, said they did not feel an 18-year-old is mature enough to handle responsible drinking.
But what do you think? Chime in using the Talkback feature.
Elaine Alred: "Yes. I think if we take a stance about drinking like they do in Europe we would have less problems with young kids and heavy drinking."
Jeanette Alred: "Of course there are people from their 40s through 80s that still can't handle their alcohol consumption."
Rueven Cocos: "Might as well. They are drinking anyway."
Eloise Coupey: "College applications would go up, from out-of-staters. Good revenue opportunity, for the state, and for liquor vendors!"
John Dye: "No. They are annoying enough sober."
Monica Freitag: "I did. It seemed fine at the time, but most of us were out of high school at 17, not 18 like it seems to be now."
Derrick Funk: "Yes. Vote, serve, die, drink."
Michael Garrison: "If you're old enough to serve, you're old enough to get served."
Betsy Holmes: "Brain research says 10-year-olds would make far better safer learning drivers vs. adolescence during which decision making / impulse control is at all time low. By 21 this is settling down."
Paul Kennedy: "No. Huffing isn't good enough for the spoiled little bastards anymore?"
Dan Krass: "Absolutely. If you are deemed mature enough to elect our leaders and protect our freedom, you should be entitled to every adult right and prvilege."
Allan Laird: "Data shows that a driver who is legally drunk between the ages of 16 and 20 is 52 times more likely to get into an accident than a person who is sober. A drunk driver over the age of 20 is only 11 times more likely to get into an accident. The teenage brain does not handle alcohol as well as the adult brain."
Stacy Marshall: "I'm 49 and the drinking age was 18 when I was growing up. I think it should still be 18. You can vote, you can go to war, and not have a beer?"
Leigh Martinek-Lavanway: "Yes, if you can die for your country you should be able to have a drink."
Jill Myles: "Don't they drink anyway? When I was 18 we could drink not sure changing to 21 helped."
Lena Martinez: "I spend quite a bit of time around 18-year-olds. Absolutely not! They are legally adults who should be able to make the choice to drink responsibly. However, the mistakes that can be made while intoxicated are not ones that someone so young should be dealing with. They can wait a few years, get a bit of maturity under their belts..."
Greg Nadasdy: "I'm still on the fence about this one. As a career bartender, Ive seen 21-year-olds do some stupid and highly irresponsible things in a bar. Eighteen-year-olds would be even more so, especially because this is Milwaukee, the 'drinkingest' city in America. I'd be more comfortable with 19. That would mostly eliminate the high school seniors from legally buying / barring. That said, I do believe that if you're old enough to serve the booze and / or your country's armed forces, you should be able to unwind like a fully recognized adult."
Patti O'Dell-Dooley: "Yes, for the same reason that they can die for and defend our country and vote for who is running our country."
Michele Berg Pavlovic: "If you can serve in our armed forces, you sure as hell better be able to be served."
Christina Poth: "Only with a military ID."
Erin Shea Linnane: "Of course they should. In every other way they are held to an adult standard. If they are not mature enough to have a drik then they are not mature enough to own a house, marry, die for this country... the list goes on. The drinking age was raised for highway money."
Mitchell Wakefield: "You mean beside Judge's and RC's?"
Steve Whitlow: "Yes. If you're old enough to fight for the empire then you're old enough to drink. 18 is an adult or it isn't."
Troy Withington: "It's the things that we make taboo that when people get the chance, go overboard. I think a more mature view of drinking like the Europeans where it's part of the culture and not a big deal. If you're old enough to take a bullet for your country, you should be able to drink. When I was stationed in California in the USAF it was 21 drinking age off base, but 18 on base. How about a split and say 19, that way you're not drinking in high school?"
I would go with 19. There's a pretty sure bet that you are out of HS at this point, and I think you should have to have graduated before you can drink.
I think 21 is too young to drink. It should be 23 or 25. Oh... and legalize marijuana.
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