Instigator / Pro

Should legal drinking age be dropped back down to 18?


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

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After 4 votes and with 19 points ahead, the winner is...

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Two days
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Two weeks
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Multiple criterions
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Round 1
First off I would just like to thank you in a way for taking up my argument which is my first on this app. Thanks!

Before the legal drinking age was 18- now its 21. Sure the reason behind the age being lifted is solid- that dosent withstand the fact that most kids at 18 are not only responsible but recognizable to take account there actions of getting wasted. Why have those people rights to drink and have a good time- while being safe- been revoked because others cant control there need to party? 
It is widely known that the brains of young people are still developing up through about their mid twenties. The consumption of alcohol by people with brains still undergoing development has been shown to increase the risk of alcohol dependency and risky behaviors.

People aged 18 to 20 are not the only ones that would have increased access to alcohol if the drinking age were lowered to 18 either. As people tend to socialize with individuals in their age group it is not a surprise that most 18 to 20 year olds that illegally obtain alcohol today do so via people that are close to their age yet old enough to buy alcohol, those around 21 to 24. It should therefore not be surprising to find that if the drinking age were lowered to 18 this would increase the access of people just below that age group, say in the 15 to 17 range, to alcohol would increase in that scenario. I mentioned earlier that the results of developing brains consuming alcohol is bad and these results really only get worse the younger a person starts drinking.

I assume that my opponent is still in favor of a minimum drinking age existing. I would like to ask for an explanation of why 18 is where they want that minimum to be. I think an explanation of this seemingly arbitrary number is needed from pro before anyone can consider voting in their favor.
Round 2
There is no particular reason why I myself feel a certain need to lower the drinking age back down to 18- but just for the fun of the debate. 

I believe you all have heard the statement "Young minds tend to rebel". The reason I care as much to even bring this saying up is due to the fact that multiple teens feel the need to prove they are "grown up and matured" with the legal drinking age in the past being 18 which shows that the government themselves had some sort of "trust" with 18 year olds, most of them manage to get there hands on fake id's and other essentials that they need to get there hands on alcohol so they are technically gonna get there hands on alcohol either way. Before you mentioned something as saying that 18 year olds have friend groups and "contacts"  to help expand so to speak alcohol. Everyone has friend groups and contacts its all that one persons job to realize that if he/she does take those multiple shots it will hurt them. 

What im trying to say is that everyone has control of there actions and they can choose weather or not they drink responsibly or not, the law moving the legal drinking age to 21 is just showing that the governments way of insuring safe drinking and self control towards there citizens is weak and not working if they have to take away the rights/privilege people at the age of 18-20 had at drinking- even if they where responsible drinkers. 

May I ask why you are arguing against the legal drinking age being 18? 

Pros round two argument can be summarized into two main points:

1) Young people will drink regardless of the laws in place, the implication being that putting said laws in place is pointless because they will just be broken anyway.

2) If legalized young people may drink responsibly, the implication being that as long as young people drink responsibly there is no problem with young people drinking.

In this round I shall respond to each point in turn. During the next round I will reinforce the points I made against the resolution in round one.

Response to Point One

The idea in point one above has a number of flaws. Namely the fact that it is untrue, but perhaps more importantly it is downright silly.


Restricting the legal sale of alcohol to people above a certain age would intuitively seem to reduce the ability of minors to drink, and in fact there are studies to back this up. From an article featured on PubMed Central (1):

In this paper, we summarize a large and compelling body of empirical evidence which shows that one of the central claims of the signatories of the Amethyst Initiative is incorrect: setting the minimum legal drinking age at 21 clearly reduces alcohol consumption [by minors].

This is unsurprising due to the reasons that I outlined in round one. The actual data supporting the above quote is found in a scientific paper from the same website (2).


The idea that we should not make a law which is in the public interest for no reason other than the fact that we expect that law will be broken once made seems ludicrous to begin with. Even if we expect some young people to drink regardless of legality the harms of this happening are still apparent. Should speed limits be removed because we know some people will speed regardless? Should shoplifting laws be removed because we expect some people to shoplifting regardless of legality? No. Should drinking age laws be altered based on the idea that some people will drink regardless of legality? How silly.

Response to Point Two

I have already mentioned a few problems with young people drinking in the first round (younger drinkers are more likely to become alcohol dependent, suffer alcohol related brain damage, etc. I will go into more detail and bring up more examples in the next round). Pros response is that "young people can drink responsibly". This is negated, however, by the fact that keeping drinking to responsible levels does not help with any of these problems. Younger brains are simply more vulnerable to the negative health effects of alcohol consumption. This is simply a biological fact.


To finish off I would like to point out that pro has yet to give any particular reason why 18 should be chosen as the drinking age rather than, for example, 16 or 19. The number 18 still seems to be an arbitrarily selected as I mentioned earlier. Unless pro is against having any minimum drinking age in general they should explain why the age 18 should be chosen. The age of 21 is recommended by the Center for Disease Control, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Academy of Sciences, and several other reputable organizations (3) specifically because of scientific findings indicating that brain development is less likely to be impaired by alcohol consumption at that age. Pro has yet to state any reason for the age of 18 to be favored.

Round 3
From your argument I do see what you mean about the whole "shoplifting" conclusion. Honestly I do agree with you, if a group of unsafe people drinking and causing "disturbance" in everyday society upholds the group of people that are responsible using safe drinking- than the government should do something about it. 

As you have somehow stated- my argument inst much of the legal drinking age being 18 exactly but even hell it could be 19 for all I care. Although, the reason I choose to say 18 is that before the regular everyday law was the drinking age being 18. See in my head I play out every possibility of a point I state could be played against me because I agree with you and your arguments. 

A point I would like to bring out is that kids necessarily still do drugs and alcohol- before when the legal drinking age was 18 there were arrests and reports made because it was clearly visible that the alcohol abuser was either abusing or overusing. Which means they got the help they need and made sure no one got hurt. Now, well people 18 and under still somehow manage to get there hands on alcohol and its less spotted in the public view which means that they have gotten better at hiding the drugs. With them hiding the drugs, (keep in mind to what you said about how 18 year old and younger minds are still developing) they may not realize there addicted and could die of drug overdose, so if you think about it either way people are doing drugs and that no laws gonna really effectively change that. No this is not a statement or in anyway something that is 100% true I would just like everyone to keep in mind that kids are kids- there rebellious- and well when you say no they will just keep trying until there point is proved. 

At this point I honestly am still opinionated as to weather or not the law is changed and just made the debate to do something intriguing- and well its doing just that. 
As pro has not said anything new in the last round I have little to work with for my own argument. Pro has merely restated his previous claims that young people would drinking regardless of legality and potentially doing so responsibly. I already responded to these two points and pro has not done anything to counter said response.

Instead of restating previous claims I will, as promised in my last round, be going into a bit more detail regarding one particular claim I have made already, namely the claim that <21 year old drinkers are more likely to experience negative health effects from drinking than those who are 21 and over.

This is something I pointed out in round one as a general argument against the resolution and again in round two specifically as a counter to pros claim that young people drinking is okay as long as they do so responsibly. As I said, if they are more likely to experience health issues due to their young age merely by drinking then doing so responsibly won't help with that, only avoiding drinks until they are more physically mature will help with that. The relevant data to support this claim may be found here:

Round 4
Actually its she, not he.

The majority of the media relies on votes, "vote for the best beauty queen, president" etc. My point is if kids under 21 are already abusing drugs why change the law to 21? Because of it people under the age of 21 go out of there way to get there hands on alcohol, including getting into gangs, fighting, getting fake ids, stealing. Better yet, might as well go steal the bottle of beer out of your parents cabinet. What I'm trying to stress is that when the law was 18 years being the legal age- people could keep track and visibly see people drinking to be able to report any signs of unsafe/reckless drinking. Now its not as visible because people are managing to sneak it. 

Scientifically yes- yes alcohol is bad for young teens health but they do it anyway- wouldn't it be better if they weren't robbing and getting into gangs to do so?
In the final round pro has once again not created any new argument, simply repeating old claims I have already responded to.

Pro continues to claim that all young people wishing to drink will do so regardless of legality. I have already linked a scientific study in round two showing this to be untrue and explained why I think it is a bad argument in the first place.

Pro continues to claim that young people drinking is not a problem if they do so responsibly. I have already responded to this by pointing out that young people's behavior while under the influence is not the main negative impact from young people drinking. There are also health concerns that exist no matter how one behaves while drinking.

Pro once again asks the question "why should drinking be limited to people 21 and above?" I have addressed the answer to this question in every single one of my rounds in this debate. People that are 21 and up are scientifically proven to have less negative health effects as a result of said drinking.

Pro has not provided an adequate response to any of these points, instead merely repeating the same thing in each round.