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  1. #11
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    It has it's merits, but I don't think it's workable.

    Firstly, I strongly dislike the idea of being an adult at 18 - legally able to vote, buy cigarettes etc. but not to drink.

    Secondly,of course it wouldn't stop all teenage drinking. However, it could help to reduce or at least change some of the excess drinking in dangerous situations. A higher drinking age would mean fewer kids getting drunk in venues, looking for fights, out in traffic etc. The underage drinking would be more concentrated in peoples' homes.

    Thirdly, the culture. As others have said, our issues with alcohol are mostly around our culture. Partially, the drinking culture - partially, violence/disrespect for others in our culture. If we had a higher drinking age, maybe that would go some way toward de-normalising drinking amongst teenagers. I can't see that it would do enough though. The reality is though, it's NOT going to happen. There'd be so much opposition - both in the form of promoting individual rights, and the alcohol lobby.

    Sure, alcohol consumption can have some serious health consequences... but I don't think that's where our focus really needs to be. Soft drinks can have some pretty serious health consequences too.... good luck getting teenagers to avoid them on that basis alone. The more serious consequences of alcohol are related to violence, sexual assault, driving under the influence etc. I think that's where our focus needs to be. On education, awareness, social policies etc.

  2. #12
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    America also has driver ed at school and correct me if I'm wrong can start to learn to drive at 15, so they effectively have 6 years between learning to drive and being able to purchase alcohol.
    The teaching is also consistent rather than getting your 100 hours from mum and dad

  3. #13
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    I think it can work and there's strong evidence that the next generation of kids are drinking less.

    I think it would help change our drinking culture if the change is brought in with education and over several years. There is irrefutable evidence that drinking at a young age causes brain damage.

    The arguments presented here sound just like the debate in the early 1900's when the age of consent was raised from 12 to 16.
    Last edited by WorkingClassMum; 13-05-2014 at 09:57.

  4. #14
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    I don't think raising the drinking age would achieve much. We will just have more underage drinkers.
    I drank excessively throughout my teens and never had any issues obtaining the alcohol. I imagine it would be even easier to as an 18 to 20 year old.

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  5. #15
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    I think it's a good idea. My teenage self wouldn't have. Easy to think a 16 yo is 18 but harder to think a 16 yo could be 21. If it even pushed the age kids started back a few years I'd call it a success.

  6. #16
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    It won't change anything. Kids drink underage now, they'll continue to do so if it's raised to 21.

    The issue isn't the legal drinking age, it's the culture of alcohol in this country.

  7. #17
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    Alcohol related violence has been on the decrease for over 10 years, despite what the media has to say. So I'm
    Not sure that should be a factor here. I just can't see this law ever changing.

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    I think it's useless and won't do anything except make certain people think they are doing a good job.

    It doesn't matter what the legal age is: kids will drink underage regardless (like they so now!)

    In the US under 21's get drunk all the time. Not the the same excesses as Aussies, but there are other negatives over there: drink driving occurs much more than here.

    Bottom line is changing the legal drinking age will do diddly squat. Education (neither a simple or cheap solution) is needed to drive cultural change.


 

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