May 30, 2011 |
It's no secret that people drink alcohol before they turn 21. Stories about binge drinking on college campuses and alcohol-fueled high school parties are as easy to find as the Facebook photos that document them. But underage drinking isn't all fun and games. Kids who don't know their limits can drink to the point of alcohol poisoning, and those who feel invincible — as many at that age do — may underestimate the danger of getting behind the wheel. Some experts say the solution is to lower the legal drinking age to 18. More than 130 college chancellors and presidents have signed a petition initiated in 2008 in support of the idea.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 6, 2008 |
The guys from Sigma Nu were one pitcher of beer into a game of "baseball" when I took a seat at their table in USC's on-campus bar and asked for an interview. I wanted to know how they felt about the suggestion by a group of college presidents that the legal drinking age be lowered to 18. They wanted to finish their drinking game. It involved flipping quarters into cups of beer representing base hits and downing the drink the coin landed in. So we talked while they drank.
September 1, 2008 |
Gordie BAILEY JR. had been in college only one month before he overdosed on alcohol. Urged on by members of a frat house he was intent on joining, the 18-year-old drank until he passed out, was dumped onto a couch and was found dead the next morning. The 2004 incident at the University of Colorado was one of the approximately 1,700 alcohol-related deaths that occur among college students each year in the United States. They include traffic accidents, falls, suffocation, drowning and alcohol poisoning.
August 27, 2008 |
NEW YORK -- Sam Querrey had just walloped his way to one of the biggest wins of his tennis career but now, a bit later, he couldn't find his coach or his parents. "I don't know where they are," the lanky 20-year-old said, grinning. "I want to call them, but, to be honest, I just dropped my cellphone in the toilet." The wry grin didn't leave his face, even when he couldn't find an open chair in the players lounge. "Looks like we're going to sit on the floor," he said, pointing to a patch of carpet.
August 27, 2008 |
A well-intentioned but misguided group of college and university presidents has been in the news recently for suggesting that we revisit the drinking age and asserting that 21 "is not working." Called the Amethyst Initiative, their proposal would have received a failing grade in my sociology classroom for its faulty logic and how unmindful it is of the history of alcohol policy in this country. During the 1960s and 1970s, most states lowered the drinking age from 21 to 18 or 19. Arguments about the draft were cited -- "old enough to fight, but not to drink" -- and in the general liberal climate of those times, good policy gave way to popular sentiment.
August 21, 2008
Moving with an alacrity not often seen in academia, the presidents of more than 100 U.S. colleges and universities have signed a newly circulated manifesto calling for the country to "rethink the drinking age." They weren't standing up for the maturity of their underclassmen, however; if anything, they were signaling their frustration at their students' lack of maturity. Binge drinking is a growing problem among underage students, and these administrators believe that it's time to change the United States' approach to regulating teenage drinking.