Criminal/DUI Defense Blog

Editorial on Drinking Age Reform

Posted by Erin FieldSep 18, 20080 Comments

Interesting view on the efforts to pull back the drinking age from 21 to 18 that has been spearheaded by College presidents nationwide and in Connecticut. Known at the Amethyst Initiative, the goal is to treat drinking among young people as a behavioral issue, and not a criminal one.

The reason college presidents are leading this effort is that they find themselves on the front lines of underage drinking. College age alcohol parties are epidemic, and university presidents are put in the position of trying to control this behavior and enforcing these laws. And because enforcement and monitoring is lessened off campus, that's where most of the parties happen. This often leads to students driving drunk to return back to campus.

The larger issue is that studies show because it is illegal, the activity is driven underground, and tends to promote and enable the most irresponsible binge drinking behavior.

It is time for a rational approach to managing this problem. Underage college age drinking isn't going away. If it is out in the open, it is much easier to promote safe drinking habits and the surrounding behaviors.