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Should the drinking age change?

Discussion in 'General Chatter' started by Meg, May 18, 2012.

  1. Meg

    Meg Lalalalala

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    There's always been talk in America about whether or not the drinking age should be lowered. What's the age in your country, and do you think it should stay the same? Raised? Lowered?
     
  2. Angel

    Angel Administrator Administrator

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    I don't think it's so much the age but teaching how to drink responsibly. I think that could apply to a load of things, if I'm honest. The effects, long-term health issues, understanding limits (both personal and legal)...there seems to be a lot of demonization of alcohol where young people are concerned but at the same time a total lack of education. It's not enough to say "drink is bad, mmkay?" without being balanced and sensible in preparing children and young people. Alcohol may be legal but it doesn't make it any less dangerous when improperly used.

    Currently you have to be 18 here in the UK to buy alcohol but if the retailer thinks you look younger than 21 then you must produce ID. If you don't have any, they have a right to not serve you at all. They call it the Challenge 21 scheme and it becomes Challenge 25 if a retailer has a history of repeatedly selling to minors.

    Naturally I sometimes purchase products which require ID if you look young enough just to test the system. Sadly no one has ever asked me for ID...the hazards of 3 kids before you hit 30. Whereas my 32 year old sister gets ID'd for everything.

    I hate the world.
     
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  3. queenofdisco

    queenofdisco Amazing Horse

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    In the UK anyone over the age of 5 years old can drink alcohol at home or on a private premises and children under 5 can only drink alcohol on a doctor's advice for health reasons. You must be 16 or 17 to drink alcohol in a restaurant, hotel or in a pub as part of a meal, but only wine, beer or cider(no other alcohol). You must be 18 to purchase alcohol in a pub or shop, or even just drink it in a pub or outside place. And anyone who looks under the age of 21 or 25 will be ID'd. It's a bit complicated and a tad tedious if you ask me, but rules are rules.

    I don't have any complaints, to be honest. I've been drinking since 14, usually at home, but a couple of times after I turned 16 I went out to pubs and clubs and I was never ID'd, mostly because I've always looked and behaved more maturely than my actual age. Unfortunately, not everyone an be as perhaps 'lucky' as I was.

    Alcohol can be fun, but in the hands of someone not old enough, or not responsible enough, it can be a dangerous combo. People need to consider health and safety, and not just their concern of having fun. I think the drinking age is fine, I just wish it was less complicated. I do think it's funny though, that we're allowed to get married and have sex at 16, but we can't legally purchase alcohol until we're 18. Herpderp.
     
  4. Magnolia Grandiflora

    Magnolia Grandiflora The Invisible Woman

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    I think it should be raised and consequences should be stricter and actually enforced. I also believe parents should stop teaching their kids by way of example that it's okay to be dependent upon it or get completely smashed; there's entirely too much irresponsible drinking and partying going on and I fear this generation is nothing but a bunch of alcoholics. Everyone seems to be under the impression that you have to be completely tanked to have a good time and I'm sick of it because it's too serious a problem to be taken so lightly. People aren't taking responsibility for their actions while under the influence and it seems that the rate of drinking and driving accidents is rising.

    There was quite a serious accident that happened in my community not too long ago where a man helping a teenager fix his car was hit by a drunk driver, that man is now crippled for the rest of his life as payment for being a good samaritan and that teenager is dead while the man who did this is only in jail for three years.

    I'm sorry but that's just ridiculous.
     
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  5. Angel

    Angel Administrator Administrator

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    My father was (and still is) an alcoholic. I became an alcoholic when I first became a parent. I do not believe the two are separate from each other and even though I will not tell my kids they should never drink, I will tell them EXACTLY what can and will happen to them if they're stupid with alcohol. If I ever caught any of them driving under the influence, I'd hand them over to the police myself. If I ever get called by the police saying to come and get one of my kids from the station for being drunk and disorderly, they can ruddy well stay locked up for the night. Parents should lead by example and it's a tough thing to do - I get it wrong so much. But if the education can start at home and be supported in schools and colleges then perhaps the attitude towards alcohol - and the abuse of it, more specifically - would hopefully change as more and more people understand that just because something is legally permitted it does not mean it could never cause you harm.

    With regards to the legal system - I just don't know enough about the ins and outs of it to fully understand why some people are late paying their taxes and get a jail term but someone can drink drive and just be told to not do it again and maybe pay a fine. I'm guessing there's more to it than a judge being stupid but without knowing, I can only surmise that somewhere along the line the system has failed a lot of people whose lives have been changed forever by the consequences of alcohol use (or misuse in many cases).
     
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  6. queenofdisco

    queenofdisco Amazing Horse

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    I see you've been talking to my mother.
     
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  7. Angel

    Angel Administrator Administrator

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    I do the same where drugs are concerned. Jessica lost her father to drug addiction when she was 18 months old and I've always been completely open and honest about what he was like, the good and the bad. It would be remiss of me to just say "everything's bad - hide under a rock until you get married to someone equally sheltered and never know any different" - you can have a great time on drugs (no, I'm not advocating the use of them!). You can also have a terrible time and you risk yourself by messing with them. As much as it would pain me to see Jessica going down the same road as her father, ultimately all I can do is educate her and then let her make her own decisions - but at least I will have told her rather than letting her just follow the crowd one evening and then continue on in that vein until something goes very very wrong.

    So where drinking is concerned although she says she won't ever get drunk (LAWL!) I tell her to never say never - she may just find that she really enjoys social drinking and has one too many on several occasions. And that's not to damn her but to let her know that these things happen but the consequences are for her to deal with, not me to get her out of. So if she's vomiting all over the place with a stinking headache the next morning, I won't be the one holding her hair back. I'll be the one clanging pots and pans together in the kitchen and playing metal VERY LOUDLY. And I'll enjoy it too :D
     
  8. queenofdisco

    queenofdisco Amazing Horse

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    I used to say the same thing... but ha. Hahahaha... yeah... ">_>
     
  9. Storyofmylife

    Storyofmylife ♩♪♫♬♩♪♫♬♩♪♫♬

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    Not to sound like a stickler or anything, but in all honesty I think it should be illegal. I see it ruin families, friends, and it's even tried to take over my own life before. You can so easily get addicted to it and it makes people violent. It's literally poison to your body. I think marijuana should be legal before alcohol, because you never hear about someone smoking pot and getting in a fight. Alcohol has been proven to kill brain cells too. I know my opinion on this matter is a very unpopular one so I'll just shut up now. :p I don't care if any of you drink, I only care when it begins to ruin people. Which it has with my family.
     
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  10. Angel

    Angel Administrator Administrator

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    I actually think there is wisdom in listening to those who know first-hand what alcohol can do to people and those around them. Anyone who dismisses such insight out of hand is a fool, in my opinion. To truly know what it is like you have to live it to some degree and whilst my father was not a violent alcoholic, he was a miserable one and utterly selfish. I myself could swing between moods when drunk, losing whole portions of time due to blacking out, risk my personal safety and that of my child...I drank and drank and drank but figured I was ok because for the most part I was a functioning alcoholic. But it was not ok. Not a day goes by when I don't miss drink but I've been clean and sober since 2006 and intend to stay that way. Some days are easier than most but I know what it could do to my family if I started drinking again and I will not put them through that.
     
  11. Azer249

    Azer249 Steam: Azer249

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    Personally, i don't drink socially for a number of reasons, some personal but mainly because i don't want to ( I do drink occasional, Christmas and such) . I can't say the same for my peers however. However, i do think that if it was legalised for any age say... 10+ people honestly wouldn't bother with it as much. From my experience people my age and just bellow get into drinking because they think it's 'cool'. How i see it is that if they were allowed to drink it, they wouldn't, just because there would be no 'thrill' in it anymore.
     
  12. Storyofmylife

    Storyofmylife ♩♪♫♬♩♪♫♬♩♪♫♬

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    It is hard not to drink of course, but doesn't it feel better not to feel so... Hazy all the time? I definitely don't miss that feeling. I hate the fact that my parents are drinking again and feel as though it was kind of my fault after I turned 21 this past year. They've been drinking since I was 8 years old and now it's gotten so out of hand. I wish I could help them, but they can only help themselves unfortunately.
     
  13. cheezMcNASTY

    cheezMcNASTY Entertain me.

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    I see it like choosing how to feed a dog. Don't scoff. Hear me out. If you limit how much food the dog gets daily, it'll anticipate eating nonstop. It won't know it's own limits because you've assumed that control. If you give him a food bowl that is always full, he won't value it as highly. He won't gorge himself to empty it at all times. Take a dog that you've been feeding with moderation and give him unlimited access all of a sudden, there's bound to be problems. The same can be said for just about anything, perhaps in a looser sense.

    Right now, in the United States, the drinking age is 21. The age you can join the military is 18. I have a serious problem that you can die serving your country before you can drink in it. Not to mention that if anyone has a memory that should be drowned in whisky, that person is a soldier. Also, I feel that if alcohol were not so closely regulated, people would be more used to it. They'd be more aware of how much alcohol is too much or what a place looks like that it may be a bad idea to get drunk there. Right now, in an American public education, we're taking alcohol awareness courses pretty much as soon as we become teenagers and onward. If we're so well-informed, why do people still make so many dumb decisions? It's because we were learning about something that we were incapable of fully understanding. You can't make someone aware and responsible about something without also giving them access to it. That's just my two cents.
     
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  14. La Femme Fatale

    La Femme Fatale Super Moderator

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    I actually don't really have much an opinion on this matter. I'm pretty pleased with the way Canada regulates this policy area. If I am correct, you can purchase alcohol from pretty much anywhere in the United States, correct? Here in Ontario (apart from restaurants, bars, and pubs), the only establishment that legally sells alcohol is the Liquor Control Board of Ontario... oh ya, and the Beer Store. That's it.

    But, I guess the reason I don't really have an opinion is that it's never really affected my life or the people around me in ways it has affected some of the other members who have posted in this thread. Maybe if it had I'd be a bit stronger in my stance here. Most of the people in my life have the exact same routine - you work during the week and have a few cocktails on Friday and Saturday night to unwind. It doesn't have the same kind of baggage behind it, if that makes sense. It's never gone beyond just being a social event during the hockey game (as an example), so in that respect I can't really relate to Angel or Story or whoever else has been in a similar boat.

    So, I don't know, I like having a drink or two (and when I go out, it really is a drink or two - the best thing about being a cheap date is you don't have hangovers) and I feel I've been, for the most part, responsible with it. I don't drink out of emotional pain and suffering, and I think this is the key. I eat. Things that are deep-fried, covered in icing sugar and gravy.

    That said, throw a motor vehicle into the equation and you have a whole nother ball game.
     
  15. cheezMcNASTY

    cheezMcNASTY Entertain me.

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    Just for the sake of looking like a know-it-all, it varies state by state. I've lived in places where you can buy it anywhere, others where you can only buy it at designated liquor stores as seems to be the case in Ontario. Where I live right now, non-liquor stores are only allowed to sell beer, wine, and diluted liquor. If you want undiluted liquor you need to go to a designated liquor store. Pennsylvania runs mostly on liquor stores. Other shops can sell beer, but it's a pain in the butt to get a liquor vendor's license so most of them just hang up a BYOB sign.

    So yeah, getting back to that first sentence before I dived into all this detail, it really varies state by state. Generally the more right-wing conservative states have more conservative laws about it. Here in Ohio, all liquor stores aren't open on Sunday because of some lingering practice relating to the Christian sabbath. Not fair. I'm not a Christian and I reserve the right to get smashed on the Christian day of rest if I want to. :(
     
  16. La Femme Fatale

    La Femme Fatale Super Moderator

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    I totally respect that right. :D
     
  17. ArabPikachu

    ArabPikachu Member

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    Regardless of age, I'm the type of guy who abstains from drinking a bottle of alcohol in the first place.
     

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