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New initiative to lower legal drinking age

READ MORE: New initiative to lower legal drinking age
College students are moving in, and college partying will not be far behind. Now, a group of educators is proposing a surprising way to deal with campus binge drinking -- lower the drinking age. The following information was reported by ABC's Carla Wohl: On college campuses across the country, students will soon be pounding back beers. Adam Gingrich, college sophomore, said, "I just want to have a good time with my friends. Everyone gets drunk and parties hard." No one disputes that binge drinking among underage students is a huge problem. But now college presidents from 100 of some of the nation's best known universities say the 21-year-old federal age limit for drinking may be making it worse by pushing the behavior into the shadows. They want a national debate about lowering the drinking age to 18. David Oxtoby, President of Pomona College said, "I think if we were able to show responsible drinking and model responsible drinking and educate students about it, that would be very beneficial for everybody." The very suggestion has MADD, mothers against drunk driving, seeing red. They say a lower drinking age would lead to more alcohol-fueled accidents. April Snook of MADD said, "The presidents who signed onto this are not looking at the scientific studies that have been done. Scientific studies have shown that the under- 21 laws save lives." MADD is urging parents to reconsider the safety of schools whose presidents want to revaluate the 21-year-old drinking age. The debate is likely to get louder in the coming weeks as students head back to campus. Student Maurice Santos said, "I think at 18 you're still too immature. Even 21 is still kind of pushing it." Studies show more than 40 percent of college students report symptoms of alcohol abuse, a problem, one educator said, that won't be eliminated by lowering the drinking age. -- End Carla Wohl, ABC news, Los Angeles -- UNCW has yet to respond to an invitation from the Amethyst Initiative, but that has not stopped people from forming an opinion on the issue. WWAY visited the campus today. Everyone we spoke with had an opinion about the proposal to lower the drinking age. Even with classes starting tomorrow, almost everyone wanted to talk about the effort. Today students and parents were busy buying books and last minutes supplies, a quiet scene compared to the nightlife of partying many assume occurs on college campuses. But, while students were 'quick' to respond to a proposal to lower the legal drinking age, signed by 100 college presidents, UNCW Chancellor Rosemary Depaolo will get some advice before making a decision on the initiative. Rebecca Caldwell, Dir. Of Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention, said, "I'm going to make some recommendations to her about the pros and cons of signing on with this kind of effort. And we'll continue our substance abuse prevention and education efforts like always, which we've had in place for over 20 years." Caldwell says the current drinking age helps prevent addiction and allows the brain to fully develop. However, she says lowering the drinking age could lead to less high risk drinking among teens. North Carolina Executive Director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving Craig Lloyd says raising the legal age to 21 reduced traffic deaths by nearly 30 percent in some states. He says if we lower the drinking age, the opposite will be true, and deaths will increase significantly. Duke is currently the only North Carolina school to support the proposal.

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Wine only.

For those who believe. Its in the bible. Wine is good for the stomace. But not getting drunk. If the drinking age is dropped it should be for wine only. The law should said drinking of wine is allowed only at home. No drinking of wine in public places. No purchase of wine at bars or clubs. No age limit for wine. Those who are under 18 must be with a parent. The age limit should stay at 21 for beer and liquor. Only those in the military should be allowed to drink others (beer and liquor) if under 21 but not less than 17. They should only be allow to drink on military bases and not allowed to leave the base if impaired. This can be allowed if the military allows it even if the state doesn't like. The state has no control. Lowering the age for others will increase drunk driving. Deaths and injuries will also increase from accidents. Car insurance will increase nation wide. Anyway no change can be made with out federal approval. The federal government forced the states to raise the age to 21.

no way man

You can not say 18 year olds can drink.. IF you are in the serivce and ONLY if you are on base and ONLY beer no hard liquor. You can not put stipulations on something like this and expect people to uphold them. It wouldn't be fair to the other 18 year olds that choose not to go into the service and go to college. And how can you say 'Ok, you're in the military here's a beer, but don't touch liquor or you're in trouble.." Come on now. Think!


Brilliant. Yes. Let's govern our city, state, and country based on what the Bible says, and require everyone, no matter what religion they happen to follow, to adhere to these theocratic laws. 'Cause Lord (Bush) knows, Christianity is definitely the best government out there, and really, it should be the only religion allowed to be practiced. And while we're at it, I do believe that the Bible also says that children should be stoned to death if they do not respect their parents. The Bible also says that the punishment for stealing is also death. That work for you? Honestly, this is not a solution. What you've come up with is ignorant of the fact that not everyone believes what you do, nor should they. And PLEASE do not get me wrong, I'm not bashing Christianity, I'm simply trying to point out that ANY religion is not a basis for government. That's the whole reason for the foundation of our country, to escape the religious persecution from old Britain. Let's be reasonable...

okay, you need to calm down.

okay, you need to calm down. first of all, this guys starts with, "for those who believe," not "everyone should believe this or you're going to hell!!!" chill out, man, it's not a forcing-christianity-down-your-throat statement, just his personal belief. also, please educate yourself on christianity before taking texts from the bible out of context. you just sound ignorant when you don't. p.s. i disagree with the guy's opinions too

Submitted by God

"And PLEASE do not get me wrong, I'm not bashing Christianity". I think you are when "Submitted by God" is your tag line. Sorry you don't believe in something bigger than yourself.

think about it!

no matter what age....21...or 18....when you get drunk....when you get pass out....when you pass out you go to sleep....when you go to sleep you commit no sins....when you commit no sins you go to lets all get drunk and go to heaven!!!!.....aaaaargh!!!! think about it!

If they do decide to lower

If they do decide to lower the drinking age to 18, two things they should consider. One being our DUI laws. I firmly believe that if they lower the age to 18 we will have more people out driving drunk. When I was younger, I partied all the time, but I never drove drunk. After I turned 21, I still partied (while in college) and although I never drove drunk, several of my friends decided they could drive after only drinking a few beers (since they were 21). These DWI laws need to be a lot stricter. Secondly, they need to have stricter laws pertaining to contributing to the delinquency of a minor or providing alcohol to someone underage. A lot of 18y/o have friends that are 16 and 17. If they provide alcohol to them, there should be very strict fines/penalties for such


The legal ages should stay 21 yr old instead, of 18.Because they're so much drinking out, there.At 18 yrs old you;re still a child. I think parents should teach there children, about drinking. I was much to young to drink. Please don;t print my name on tv or computer. Wilmington,NC

if you are still a child at

if you are still a child at 18, then are you saying you shouldn't be able to serve in the military or vote either


and you THINK that 18 year olds don't have the ability to drink NOW...LOL If they are children...why do we send them to fight for our freedoms on the front lines?


First of all...I see drunks and DUI's from EVERY AGE FROM UNDERAGE to 80....I had my first drink at like 17 and had NO PROBLEM getting the alcohol. If they want to drink...they are going to and there is NOTHING anyone can do about it. Two things... If you are old enough to get drafted INVOLUNTARILY into the United States Military, sent over seas to fight for your country and have the chance of getting your guts blown out, head blown off or loose a leg, arm, eye, fingers, and toes all in the name of freedom, then BY GOSH you deserve the freedom to make adult decisions and have a drink. PERIOD! Matter of fact, I have NO PROBLEM supplying a young soldier with a beer at ANY TIME! HOWEVER, the DUI laws are CANDYLAND! There should be ZERO....ZERO TOLERANCE for drinking and driving. Get caught the first time, MANDATORY 30 days in jail and your car is impounded for 120 days...second time MANDATORY 60 days in jail and your car is impounded for 240 days...THIRD go to jail for a YEAR and your car gets taken from you and sold to the highest bidder to support our police departments.

One gap in your logic (good

One gap in your logic (good try, though)... there is no draft. When there WAS a draft, the legal drinking age was 18. Of course, back then, parents did a better job of raising their kids, instead of trusting it to "the village." Young people are taking longer and longer to become responsible adults and many are still coddled by parents. Kids today need fewer prescription drugs and more spankings.


that's anbout the smartest thing i've read in these blogs for a long time. I work in a store at the beach and I ID so many people, on friday and saturday's you would probably change your mind if your for he change due to the DRUNK IDIOTS i see. Every age at that but I WILL NOT sell to a underage person. Like the law...T'S MY JOB! WE HAVE ENOUGH ADULTS DRINKING AND DRIVING......LISTEN TO ME PEOPLE, YOUR FAMILY AND MINE ARE OUT THERE...H E L L O!!!!!!!


While there hasn't BEEN a is FEDERAL LAW that an 18 year old must register FOR THE DRAFT... AND I QUOTE from the Selective Service website..."According to law, a man must register with Selective Service within 30 days of his 18th birthday." NICE TRY...but if you want the ability to treat these individuals like MEN...sent to fight for freedom...they need EVERY freedom afforded to ANY ADULT... I do agree, however, with the rear end whoopins!

Drinking Age

First I have to say..... 1. In todays world the kids are DRILLED in school that spankings are bad. 2. In todays world there is so much more higher priced items that the kids are wanting and getting that they don't understand how to do without. 3. None of this however has anything to do with the drinking age. At 18 years old children are considered ADULTS. If someone is 18 in the court of law they would be tried as an "ADULT". I truly think that the 21 age limit we have now makes the kids want to rebel and try beer or any alcoholic beverages for that matter younger. If you can have an 18 year old living on there own and working and paying taxes and playing the adult part. An 18 year old fighting for this country and protecting our freedom and for our safty. WHY NOT ENJOY A DRINK! What about the 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 year olds and so on young girls getting pregnant! We should have MANDATORY BIRTH CONTROL! Until age 21!!!!

your're right

Thanks for the comment you are on the right track this is so true, I hope they are listening to logic.

Drinking Age

I FULLY agree with you. If someone is old enough to serve in the Military,let them drink. And the punishment for drinking and driving is EXACTLY what needs to be implemented, I know for a fact that would minimize it ALOT.

What about making any

What about making any college in concern a dry campus? This makes the college not responsible, as far as I know. This puts all responsibility on the student. I went to a dry campus and I paid the consequences when I was caught drinking under age. I think this is just an excuse to make money. They want the college kids with mommy and daddy's money to have more access to high demand products. Last time I checked, the economy was not looking too good.

Lowering the drinking age

If a person wants to drink, they will find a way no matter what age. I am now in my mid thirties and I know when I was younger (under 21), I did a lot of things I shouldn’t do because it was illegal and drinking was one of those things. Sometimes the more someone is told “NO”, the more likely they are going to do it anyway. I really don’t see a big deal in lowering the age to 18. However, I do feel there should be stricter laws if one gets a DUI and this goes for first time offenders too. Stop slapping people on the wrist and sending them on their way. If you choose to drink and drive and put your own life in danger, don’t think I am going to be okay with you putting my life or my family’s life in danger. Drop the drinking age to 18 and enforce tougher DUI penalties.

why not?

Why shouldn't the drinking age be lowered to 18 years of age? I know you think that they are too young and so on, but let me ask you this. When you turned 21 and was able to drink legally did you do it as often? My guess is no, it lost its appeal. When I was in college UNCW I will admit that not only myself but the other guys in the fraternity drank like fish, thought it was fun, however when we turned 21 it wasn't long after that when we stopped the binge drinking. You could say it lost its luster. Kids like to do it because its taboo, drinking underage is cool, take that away and you just took away one of the main reasons they go out on drinking binges.

I have always felt the drinking age should have stayed at age 18

I have always felt the drinking age should have stayed at 18. And, no, I'm not a young person. I am in my late 50's. When a young man age 18 can work a 40 hour week job, own a car and make car payments and car insurance payments, be married, be a father, vote and most definitely go to war he should definitely be able to stop on his way home from work and buy some beer. And, even if the scenerio is not the one above, if he can go to war, fight for our country he should be able to buy beer. Our laws are warped in many instances because of groups who have the ability to get what they want put through without considering everyone.

More federal over-stepping

Here's another prime example of governors failing to remind Washington that this is a federation of fifty sovereign states, and that, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." This is 100% a STATE matter. I grew up in a state where the drinking age was eighteen. It caused no more problems than we face now. I also believe that anyone old enough to go to war and fight for this nation is old enough to have a cold beer. The problem isn't YOUNG drinkers, it's irresponsible drinkers. In that light, it doesn't matter if the drunk behind the wheel is eighteen or eighty. Instead of worrying about whether they should be eighteen or twenty-one, why not concentarte on how we can make punishments for DUI SOOOOO severe, that no one would ever dare to risk one. It could be a package deal - "We're lowering the drinking age to eighteen....and raising the first offense DUI to a $5k fine, twelve consecutive weekends in jail, and a mandatory one-year license suspension with NO restricted license available. Your car will be impounded until the fine is paid."

No One Remembers The Real Reason

...the age was lowered in the first place. The Federal government strong-armed the sovereign states by sending out a mandate to state reps saying "sign this bill" or your state will lose funding for certain projects. While the 21-year-old drinking age seems imbedded in American society, it is only a recent innovation. Most people do not know that the drinking age was only made a national law when it was signed into law on July 17, 1984, and only after a determined battle by special interest groups such as MADD and reps from the State of New Jersey. The actual bill required all States to raise their minimum drinking age to 21 within 2 years or lose a portion of their Federal-aid highway funds; and encourage States, through incentive grants programs, to pass mandatory sentencing laws to combat drunk driving. The portion of the Federal-aid highway funds that would be lost if the state didn't comply amounted to 5 percent in the third year and 10 percent in the fourth year. Interesting. The government "forced" states to sign the bill. Shocker. Those who giveth can taketh away. Think about it, you can be 18 to smoke, 16 to drive a car, 18 to vote, 18 to go to war, 16 to get married (in some states), and 14 to get a job. Age is not a marker of maturity, so I disagree will all those who say an 18 year old is more irresponsible than a 21 year old. It's all in the mind and cultural influences how we act and react to different stimulus. Was John Edwards "Mature" in his handling of his affair? Was Marion Jones "Mature" when she doped HGH and got kicked off the USA Track Team? Maturity comes from your actions, not your age despite the popular belief. So lower it back. I'm for it. The government will make a lot more money to help pay off our national debt and fund the next "initiative". Just penalize drivers under the age of 21 with tougher DUI Laws and penalites. And while you're at it, legalize pot too. That's a huge tax base and cash crop you're letting go up in smoke.

I'd LOVE to be a governor....

...and have the federal government cut off my highway funds because I refused to let them dictate an issue that is blatantly unconstitutional. The state would not pay one single penny of federal gas tax from that moment on. We'd use it to maintain the state roads. We need to find governors who want to be governors (not president) and who appreciate that as envisioned by the founding fathers, every state governor would actually yield more power in his state than any president. If thirty governors had told President Bush what to do with NCLB, it would have never been passed into law. Ditto for the 21 year-old drinking age, the resurging 55 mph maximum, etc.

Up till then, wasn't it 21

Up till then, wasn't it 21 for liquor, 18 for beer here in NC?

Response to "commonsense"

You posited some valid points, i.e. being 18 and old enough to go to war, BUT, in my opinion, lowering the drinking age to 18 is just asking for trouble. That being said, you idea of harsher punishments for DUI made perfect sense. We are way too lenient with DUI's. There has to be stricter enforcements/punishments for those driving under the influence, no matter what their age. Your proposed "package deal" is right up there with how it should be.

Drinking Age Lowered?

Absolutely not! In my opinion, UNCW and CFCC should follow Duke's example--and quickly! Take a look at the statistics. The higher the age for drinking (21), the fewer deaths. It's a no-brainer!


You would have no problem sending these 18 year olds to take a bullet for your freedoms....INTERESTING...

Duke Supports It....

Read the article again....Duke is the only North Carolina school that supports the proposal. So, by asking UNCW and CFCC to follow Duke's example is asking them to support the proposal to lower the drinking age. The only thing the 21 drinking age does is reduce the numbers of people under 21 "BUYING" alcohol, it is not reducing the numbers of people consuming or binge drinking or driving drunk. Another thing; Drunk driving is drunk driving whether the person is 18, 19, 21, 55, 89, 102. That is exactly where the focus should be. Prevention and deterrence is the key. Harsh punishment for fake ID use, for clerks in stores that do not check ID's and for DWI. That will have a greater impact because contrary to what most people believe, an 18 year old has a 21 year old buddy that will buy him beer and they will party and drink together, and sooner or later one or both will take the risk and drive home.

Lowering of Drinking Age

One of the major concerns with lowering the drinking age to 18 is that it includes a number of high school seniors, which then makes it easier for those younger than 18 to obtain alcohol more easily. If the drinking age is lowered, it should be no lower than 19.