Get real, lower drinking age to 19

This CNN article by William Cohen expresses his distaste of the 21 year old drinking age in the United States, especially in regards to how it affects college campuses. This is a sentiment that many others, including many university presidents, agree with, stating that it causes a severe amount of dangerous binge drinking on college campuses.

Cohen’s article focuses on binge drinking at Duke University, where a study done in 2000 stated that 74% of drinking violations on campus were caused by freshman.

Cohen states: “The drinking age of 21 is a national joke. Every college campus in the country is filled with students who violate the drinking law every week, if not every day, while university administrators turn a mostly blind eye.”  This leads to an environment where administration and law enforcement are well aware that students are breaking the law on an everyday basis, but instead of being able to properly supervise or monitor underage drinking, they are forced to turn a blind eye to the situation rather than risk their careers knowingly allowing an underage student to drink.

By making the drinking age 19, this would keep drinking out of high schools while making roughly two-thirds of college campuses legal drinkers. Cohen also brings along another interesting policy he feels necessary to include with the reduced drinking age: abandoning the 0.08% threshold for a zero-tolerance policy for drinking and driving. I think that additional policy would be a beneficial way to  lower the drinking age while also keeping groups like MADD happy.


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