Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

September 12, 2009


UPI - Eighteen U.S. campuses that reported binge heavy drinking in 1993, showed little change more than a dozen years later, U.S. researchers found. Lead researcher Toben F. Nelson, an assistant professor of epidemiology and community health at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, said in 1993, 58 percent of students reported binge drinking in the past two weeks; in 2005, 56 percent said the same. For the purposes of this study, binge drinking was defined as at least four or five drinks in a row. The study, published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, found 28 percent of students in 1993 said they frequently binged on alcohol, while 32 percent of students said they binged on alcohol in 2005. . . Nelson's team found 88.5 percent of the students reported any drinking in 1993, while 86 percent reported any drinking in 2005. In 1993, 37 percent of students said they had driven after drinking, and in 2005, the figure was the same, the study said.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The arbitrary change in the Legal Drinking Age would only be important if there was strict police enforcement. The same number of college student would occasionally go drinking, the only difference would be that they might be doing it legally if the 'drinking age' were 18.

Contrary to the title in Undernews, I read no proof in the article that the 21 'drinking age' isn't working. At least, in regard to having any established 'drinking age' at all. Drinking is just one more experience that young adults have to learn to deal with, if desired. Not only with the physical effects, but with the frustration with civil code. And... “That life”. To me it seems far more important to merely have the age consistent from State to State, to prevent automobile accidents.

The only change that might make sense would be to eliminate the 'drinking age' altogether. And that would make sense for the people that actually educate their children, but this Nation is burdened with Puritanism and too many people would prefer to just not talk about things as if they don't exist. And, I think new situations would occur, while legal, people would not accept.

Many people are married before they are twenty-one years old. And while I thought it extremely unfair to be drafted and possibly be killed in Viet Nam, now that I am older I can see the reason for keeping a 'drinking age' at 21. Most people younger than that are intellectually, emotionally, and hormonally immature, it's better to place barriers between alcohol and the young.


September 13, 2009 10:11 AM  
Anonymous Walter F. Wouk said...

It is clear that 18, 19 and 20-year old adults are treating the 21-year old drinking age law with the contempt that it deserves.

September 13, 2009 10:32 AM  
Blogger m said...

The prohibition of psychoactive substances has a long history of failure, and as well creating far more collateral damage than it ameliorates. Especially when dealing with adolescents who have a highly developed biological nisus to rebel against any strictures placed upon them.

What we end up with is randomly enforced law which creates its own social and legal problems. These are separate and apart from the tremendous damage it does to unfortunate individuals.

September 13, 2009 9:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The original poster is right. Dismantling 'legal age' laws will only work in the face of better education of the young in these issues; which would entail a massive cultural shift in the Puritan way of thinking that established and dominates the discourse even today...it would also entail many parents stepping up to the plate and acting on that dreaded 'R' word (responsiblity) toward their parental duties to their young--an idea that many young, trendy 'pwogwessive' parents seem to hate and fear even more than they do the curtailing laws.

September 14, 2009 7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unlike the 9/14 07:50 post, I doubt that the “drinking age” could be labeled a “Conservative” or “Liberal” (or Progressive) issue. At least I don't see it as one. Maybe a Libertarian issue, that's a possibility.

But to somehow twist the conversation and state that Progressive parents hate and fear “responsiblity” (which I choose to spell Responsibility), is more of a Red Herring.

Luckily, the author stopped short of calling Conservatives and Libertarians “Responsible”, although that would have lightened the mood and gave me a good laugh.


September 14, 2009 11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But to somehow twist the conversation and state that Progressive parents hate and fear “responsiblity” (which I choose to spell Responsibility), is more of a Red Herring."

Only if only that were so, Da.

September 14, 2009 1:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, that last post was convincing enough for me...

But, for the “unconvinced”, lets make some fun hypothetical statements at What Would a Conservative Family say and do:

1.WWCFD – Republican: “Well, after thoroughly investigating this issue with my colleages, I want to say emphatically that the Legal Drinking Age should be lowered as much as possible.” Which would only be suggested because of the Alcohol PACs wanting to increase corporate profits as much as possible, and by lowering the legal drinking age, a whole new “Market” would emerge. And, as a result, more lawyers and lobbyists would be deployed in Washington to strengthen the war on taxes. And, most importantly, many palms would be able to be 'greased'.
Of course, the 'Responsible' Republican family spokesman/woman would follow with the caviat that they would “shoot any S.O.B. that would dare sell alcohol to THEIR young children”... after all, they have their Rights, along with a F.O.I.D. card and a coveted Concealed Carry Permit. And...they would organize a protest, and boycott any store in THEIR neighborhood that would sell to teenagers, after all, “Jesus never served alcohol to teenagers dammit.”

2.WWCFD – Libertarian: “Are you kidding... No Federal, State, or Local government has the Right to enact ANY specific 'Drinking Age' Law.” “Lets keep government out of Liquor Stores!” “Where does it say in the Constitution that the government has the legal right to set a legal age for drinking, set speed limits, or even construct stoplights at intersections!” “Why I remember in my parent's day, there wasn't One Single Stoplight in the whole County... and that's the way our countrys founders intended it.” “What... Oh.... Ya, I guess I got a little side-tracked... But it's the principle... dammit.”

3.WWCFD – Independent/Blue Dog Dem: “Well, at least for now it's the Law of the land, and should be respected, if you want to change the law just write to your Congressman/woman and tell them your thoughts on the subject.” What did you say Obama wants? Nooo... put my name in that other column”.


September 15, 2009 11:32 AM  

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