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September 14, 2008

18 too young to fight and vote?

The most common argument in support of lowering the drinking age is that if society deems 18-year-olds mature enough to vote and to risk their lives defending their country, they should be considered old enough to consume alcohol legally.

To deny there’s a double standard in our current laws would be hypocritical. I propose we eliminate this double standard not by lowering the drinking age to 18, but by raising the minimum age for voting and serving in combat.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving opposes lowering the drinking age because brain development — particularly the area responsible for judgment and impulse — is not complete by age 18.

I find it curious that we give a segment of the population considered immature and prone to impulsive behavior the awesome responsibility of helping elect our officials. Worse yet, I find it abhorrent that a supposedly enlightened and caring society exposes its adolescents to the horrors of combat, turning them into cannon fodder or thrusting them into situations in which they may snap and use lethal force against innocent people.

Pablo La Rosa



should be "at age 18" is simply ridiculous.


Pablo a citixen of this country at age 18 can contract, can vote, can marry, and can serve the country in the military. They should be allowed to also consume adult beverages. Your accusations that combat veterans can snap and use "deadly force" is somewhat out of line as anyone, combat vet or not, can "snap".

As an Army veteran it was my pleasure to command men from age 17 to their mid-forties, and I can assure you age did not determine their characters or their abilities. I recommended a 29 year old and a 19 year old for the Silver Star.

In my opinion your assertions that one cannot serve or drink at age is simply ridiculous.


Something to think about, Pablo. Good letter.


The drinking age should be rolled back to 18 and it makes sense for many reasons.

The more drinking is forbidden fruit, the more young people want it. The law doesn't stop behavior. Right now college students simply go off campus to drink. So now there is no supervision that would happen in licenced bars.

It also encourages reckless behavior. Instead of drinking in a social setting where patrons can be cut off, and fights stopped; with no rules, binge drinking occurs. That has been the single biggest change since the laws were changed in the late 1980s. Young people put themselves at high risk for alcohol poisoning. Women are at higher risk of assault.

MADD has a noble goal, but their solutions are always "no", regardless of the outcome. Lowering the driving limit from .1 to .08 doesn't make a dent in the chronic drunk drivers that are involved in most wreaks. How many time do we hear of a 6 time offender that blew a 3x the legal limit.

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