Articles

For a Drinking Age of 18

In Youth Rights on July 18, 2012 by edwinforyouthrights Tagged:

Typed by Edwin Bonilla

I am proposing a drinking age of 18 that requires alcohol education. Choose Responsibility, a good organization, has a similar proposal but my proposal would be simpler and more effective to create a culture of alcohol responsibility for young women and young men. Ajax the Great also created a good proposal. I credit some of his ideas. The reason why this proposal requires alcohol education is because education will be beneficial to create a culture of responsibility towards alcohol. In my proposal, a person receives a card after she or he passes the class because that person would know how to drink responsibly. Incentive for responsible drinking would come from the alcohol education and laws. The drinking age should be 18 because age 18 is the real age of majority while 21 is for age discrimination against young people.

Alcohol Education

The minimum age to take an alcohol education class would be 17 and the maximum age to take the class would be 18. This class would be held at high school during the school day. Other locations would also be available for taking the class. In the alcohol education class, girls and boys would be taught about alcohol responsibility in a truthful manner. The class would explain why responsible drinking is important and explain the consequences of binge drinking. Many topics would be taught. Scare tactics would not be used. If a student passed the class, she or he would receive a card to prove completion of that alcohol education class.

Restrictions

  • Condition 1: For people who failed an alcohol education class twice or who refused to repeat the class after failing it.
  • Penalty: They wouldn’t be allowed to drink alcohol without parental supervision until age 20.
  • Condition 2: For people who did not take an alcohol education class.
  • Penalty: The same as 1.

If a girl or boy who is 17 has received a card to prove she or he passed the alcohol education class, she or he wouldn’t be allowed be allowed to use the card. The card wouldn’t be valid until age 18. If a young woman or young man who is 18 completed the alcohol education class but has not received the card, she or he can’t drink or buy alcohol. Although the drinking age would be 18, presenting the card to buy or drink alcohol would be another requirement. Young women and young men who are under 20 wouldn’t be allowed to buy a keg and would have zero tolerance for BAC readings. I credit Ajax the Great for the last two ideas.

How the Card Works

This photo ID card would be required for people who are 18-19 to buy and drink alcohol. The card would be issued by a state or territory. As I have said, the card would prove that a young woman or young man has passed an alcohol education class. This card wouldn’t be capable of storing digital information and it wouldn’t be privilege based. It would have the date of birth on it. In contrast, Choose Responsibility supports an alcohol license but my proposal differs on this. It would be hard for the government to track down every person’s alcohol violation with the purpose of suspending an alcohol license. In addition, after a young woman or young man has served her or his punishment, the government would be required to give the alcohol license back. The alcohol license would be hard for the government to work with. The card for my proposal can’t be revoked because it is not privilege based.

When a young woman or young man who took the alcohol education class is 20 years old, she or he wouldn’t be required to show their card to buy or drink alcohol. They would have still have to present ID to buy or drink alcohol. This is because young women and young men who failed an alcohol education class would be allowed to drink and buy alcohol at 20. The same would go for those who didn’t take an alcohol education class. For these reason, the card wouldn’t be required for people who are 20 or older.

Punishment

A separate charge would exist for young women and young men who drank alcohol while not having the card. If a card holder broke a law related to alcohol, she or he would be punished like other people. Card holders would have no break from punishment for violating laws related to alcohol.

Summary

  1. 17-year old girl or boy takes an alcohol education class.
  2. She or he passes the class.
  3. The girl or boy receives the card to prove she or he passed.
  4. At age 18, the card can be used to drink and buy alcohol.
  5. At age 20, the card would no longer be required.
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One Response to “For a Drinking Age of 18”

  1. While your idea is much better than Choose Responsibility’s proposal, and is a good start, I still fail to see how the special card required for 18-19 year olds but not for those over 20 is not ageist. Granted, it is not nearly as ageist as the status quo or even CR’s proposal, but it is still on the same continuum. That is, why should people over 20 be spared this requirement if it is so important? And how severely would 18-19 year old non-cardholders be punished for drinking if no one is harmed and no other laws were broken? Yes, my proposal for Twenty-One Debunked would include a restriction on buying kegs/cases/large liquor bottles for those under 20 or 21, no more than one off-premise transaction per day, and would maintain the zero tolerance law for drinking and driving under 21, but these restrictions are more about pragmatism and demolishing the pro-21 side’s fears of increased high school keggers and DUI. Ideally, 18-20 year olds should have the same rights as people over 21, period. And alcohol education should begin well before 18 or even 17. But we have to start somewhere, and I would vote for your idea as a steppingstone to that ultimate goal, as my proposal is.

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