9/13/08 Raising the driving age/Lowering the drinking age?

28 posts in this topic

There is talk of lowering the drinking age back down to 18 years old and that the driving age should be raised to 18 years old.

I was a hellion as a teenager. (Sorry Mom) Not all teenagers are like I was but many are or can become one if they had the opportunity. Could you imagine all the accidents on Senior Prom night? I do not want to think about it.

My opinion is they should keep the drinking age at 21. The older you are the better! I also think they should raise the driving age...The older you are the better!

What is your opinion on this?

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What is your opinion on this?

Let 'em drink. It will take the really clueless ones out of the gene pool. Unfortunately, they'll probably take some of the rest of us with them.

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Drinking age is 18 here and driving 16 for learners and 17 for licence...seems to work ok

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Drinking was 18 when I was a teen. I started to go to bars when I was 16 and never got carded. I think 21 is too old. You can vote at 18. I honestly don't know ANYONE who waited till 21 to drink. But I think it should be 19. At least it will be above (most) high schoolers age. The idea was that 21 year olds would not hang out with kids that much younger. All it did was make college kids binge when they turned 21 and their parents were not there to see.

I think 16 is fine for driving, but I think there should be more restrictions. No more than 1 passenger under the age of 21 for the first year. Longer training. No driving at night after 10 or 10:30. (At 16 they should be home in bed by then) Haha! As if.....No driving before 6 am. All of the teen accidents here involve a herd of them in one car. And many involve cell phones...

That is another issue. Hands free cell phone use only for everyone. Except teen drivers, who should not be able to use them AT ALL while driving.

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I too could drink when I was 18. I think 21 is too old. It is too big of a deal to the kids now. They are out to get DRUNK now and it is not in a more social setting. I never heard of alchohal poisoning when I was a kid. It wasn't as big of a deal. Your old enough to make an informed decision and vote, or old enough to go to war. Have a beer. This binging thing is crazy. My kids are 22 and 24 and it could of been a real battle. There is no driving and I have been called to come fetch a few times, but they seem to behave themselves fairly well. 19 sounds good to me!

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In the family I recall being served a very small glass of wine with holiday meals. The drinking age was lowered, briefly, to 18 when some "bright" (not!) politician decided if 18 was old enough to be drafted to go off & die in Viet Nam, it ought to be OK to drink legally at that age. Considering how many underaged binge-drinkers there are NOW, I think lowering the legal age demystifies the "aura", but I expect it won't make an appreciable difference in the mortality stats. The higher drinking age means parents can be prosecuted for their underaged drinkers' accidents.

As for voting, I don't know that 18 year olds can make any worse choices for any worse reasons. Sometimes I think the politicians who get elected were voted for by a bunch of drunk teenagers, anyway...

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Yep, if they can die for their country at 18....

Do teenagers even vote?

Yup it should be lowered to 18. I do think that the driving age could be higher, provisional license at 17. I just wish that public transportation were better so that teens could get around more easily as they do in Europe.

This year will see a record number of teens voting. My daughter misses it by a month and is so disappointed.

Lisa R.

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I think driving should be 18, drinking, voting and being drafted should be 21. Maybe I'm old fashioned but the thought of someone only 18 voting seeing how a lot of kids this age behave is a little upsetting. Driving requires a great deal of responsibility and common sense which I don't see consistently in most kids of 16. Eighteen is also too young for a lot of them to be drafted. If they want to join up and know what it involves at 18 OK. As for voting, some are never old or wise enough, so 21 should do it.

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I remember when the slowly changed the drinking age from 19-21. My friend`s brother would just make the cut off every year so he didn't have to change his drinking habits.

We had no funnels to drink beer in the 1980s. And if we did, I do not remember them. I remember the clandestine keggers. Everyone meet in the park or it is at someone's house..$1 for a cup..and you held onto that cup cause if you lost it, it was another $1.

I could roll a quarter off my nose and into the shot glass. Never play quarters unless you are good at bouncing and you can handle a few beers. And you can refrain from saying Drink,Drank, or Drunk. hehehe

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It is my own personal opinion that the driving age AND drinking ages should be 21 - no ifs ands and buts.....and even then, I think the testing should be done more vigorously. I've seen young people here as young as 14 driving, and yes, the parents allow them to drink at home that young as well. Not right.

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I guess I'm lucky to some extent..my 18 yr old son has no interest in drinking, yet...

You don't have to be a genius to vote at 18, so that issue to me is a non-issue ..being able to vote doesn't really make an adult individual in my book. Your vote isn't going to kill anyone - literally. I would wager a guess that most teens aren't even too concerned over the ability to vote..but they are probably very concerned over what age they can drive or drink legally. Raise the age, they will find ways around it; lower the age, there will be more teen-related drunken-driving deaths. It seems to me it is a double-edged sword..no one really wins however they choose to go. I thought my son was way too immature at 16 to take on driving responsibilities, but the law says they can, so off he went.

I think 18 today is totally different than 18 yesterday when some of these laws were enacted, and it will be an extremely difficult "change" no matter how they approach it.

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In Victoria (Australia) you can drink at 18, and learn to drive at 16 (but must have an adult with them until 18), then get their probationary licence at 18, and full licence at 21. They are also considering restricting number of passengers they can carry whilst on their probationary licence.

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I did not start driving till I was 19 years old and had the money to buy my own car (I bought the car before I had my drivers license :) ) I think the older you are when you start the more responsible you'll be. As for the Drinking, I think it should stay the same. What's the big hurry anyway? We have grown ups who can not handle drinking so the older you are the better IMO.

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Raise the driving age, definitely. I'm sorry, but the 16 year old that is mature enough to drive safely is about one in a million. They're just too batty and distracted and likely to act irresponsibly if other kids are around. 18 sounds reasonable, not perfect, but I'll take it.

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I like it the way it is--drinking age at 21 and driving age at 16.

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Here the drinking age is 19. However I never got asked for my ID until I turned 19. For smoking it is the same thing. You have to be 19. Driving is different. At 16 you can get your G1 (beginners), you keep that for a year, which means you have to have a licensed driver with 4 years experience in the front seat. With a G1 you cannot drive on any major highways and have 0% alcohol. Also you cannot drive between the hours of 11 pm and 7 am. After a year you do a road test to get your G2, which means you still cannot have any alcohol at all and everyone in the car must have a seat belt, but you can drive on all major highways and do not need a licensed driver in the front seat. After a year of having a G2 license you do another road test to get your full license. Pretty much if you do everything right away and not wait like I did, you have your full license at 18. I waited and I did not get my full license until I was 20 years old. I think that system works. At least it did for me.

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I'm not sure that raising the age is the answer. I had a bit of a problem with road rage in my 20's. I've never caused an accident more serious than a mild tap rear-ending. My worst accident was when my mother rear ended me when I was 17!

There was dust ang gravel on the road due to a construction project. Earlier in the week there was a barricade, but not on this date. It was beginning rush hour and I slowed for a slow moving car. Then I saw no driver! I hit the brakes, kicking up a cloud of dust. Mom went into the dust, forced me off the road. I had to brake to avoid a huge concrete block! While we waited for the sherriff deputy, a drunk clipped the corner of Mom's car! Then the construction company moved their illegally parked car and built a barricade.

I think that raising the driving age will just cause more people driving illegally. We have a real problem with hit and runs when the driver is an illegal alien, driving on a suspended license, driving without insurance, or no license.

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I think the drinking aged should be dropped back to 18. My son is 22 now and he lived on his own in my house since he was 19. I can assure you there was drinking going on but that was fine with me because they would only do it at the house and I didn't have to worry about him or any of his friends drinking and driving. Also, in SC at the time my son was 15 he got his permit, then his restricted license which allowed him to drive during daylight hours only, however, if they got a job (which he did) his employer could sign a waiver and he could drive until midnight. He was a responsible driver so that worked for us. I think it would still be fine. However, if the parent doesn't think their child is responsible enough they can always say no to the drivers license since they have to sign for it in order for the child to get it.

I was glad when my son and step-daughter got their license because it was a lot less running on our parts.

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DH and I went to college in New Jersey and the drinking and voting age where both 18 when I was around that age.

My kids all register to vote at 18 and they all vote. I think that waiting until after HS to drive would be a good idea. As far as drinking, if you are old enough go to the military you should be allowed to drink too, but I would be more in favor of raising the age to join the military than lowering the age for drinking.

Better yet let the people who decide we need wars be the first to go, the president should have to led the first charge in any conflict.

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Here in Vermont the drinking age is 21 and you can get a learner's permit to drive at 15.

As far as I'm concerned the drinking age here should stay 21. We've had so many accidents with death resulting from under age drinkers in the past 6 or 7 years. The State has finally passed laws to stop it. If you're caught drinking and driving underage, you lose your license until you're 21, if you get it back at all. Your car is confiscated and sold and your parents pay a whooping fine. Kids can drive at 15 here, but they are not allowed to drive between dusk and dawn. They have to have a driver 21 or older with them and they are not allowed to drive on the interstate or out of state. They are not allowed to have any passengers except for the adult that has to ride with them. At 16 they can test for a junior operators license and are allowed to drive by themselves. Again, no dusk to dawn driving, but they can drive on the interstates. They are still NOT allowed to carry any passengers under 21. Then at age 18 they are tested again for their adult drivers license.

lyn

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OK...let me start by saying that I am 24 yrs old...and I was raised rather traditionally. I was allowed a small glass of wine at holidays once I was old enough to sit with the adults (about 9)....I have alot of cousins and aunts and uncles...we would gather for Thanksgiving and Christmas each year. While I am 24, I did not go out and get drunk on my 21st birthday (ok so I was pregnant at the time....but I hate the thought of getting drunk) I think that perhaps the drinking age should be 18. (how many seriously don't even touch alchohol before they are 21....I find that hard to believe)

As far as the voting age....I think it should be 21. My opinion is, an 18 yr old is still not old enough to be responsibly informed on any issues they are voting for. (keep in mind, you're not just voting for a president, you're also often voting for local issues....and large spending bills.) To vote, can there be a mandatory economics class? Also an 18 yr old is very unlikely to be paying any taxes....making them even more unlikely to be uninformed.

Oh....I don't drive yet so I have no opinion on the driving age....driving has always made me nervous so I don't want to get my liscense.

Edited by Kalani

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I supported lowering the legal voting age to 18 for the simple reason then that I still believe is valid now; if you're old enough to serve in the Armed Forces at 18 and die for your country, you should most certainly have the right to vote for who sends you off to die. The way most issues are written up on ballots some PhDs have trouble deciphering the wording!

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I like the idea of raising the driving age but not of lowering the drinking age. I mean, All my friends got their licenses this year and while I love them dearly, a couple of them are not the safest drivers. I am getting my permit next month because I thought 16 was too early to get it. And lowering the drinking age would be horrible! Again, the same few friends would have a field day if they did that. They are not all very responsible and (hopefully) by the time they are 21, they will think a little more about what they are putting in their bodies. I like where the age is now and hope both of them stay the same.

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I got my DL when i was in my early 20's, didn't miss driving at a younger age when i was more immature. i enjoyed taking the bus or walking. it wasn't an option anyway since i couldn't afford a car and neither parent would loan their car for any of us to take a driving test. I think 16 is too young to drive personally.

I did most of my drinking when i was 17-19 years old. ....when i was 18 i really drank alot (friends supplied me with beer), sometimes i would go over into wyoming and buy rum because i was legal age there. :D:p I think kids will get alcohol from somewhere whether it's legal or not. i say if you are old enough to fight in a war, you're old enough to drink. I think they just need to be taught to be responsible.

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