August 22, 2007

A Little Outrage Please.

USA Today; "Drunken driving deaths up in 22 states".

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released data showing there were 13,470 deaths in 2006 involving drivers and motorcycle operators with blood alcohol levels of .08 or higher, which is the legal limit for adults throughout the country. The number was down slightly from 2005, when 13,582 people died in crashes involving legally drunk drivers...Among states, Arizona, Kansas and Texas had the greatest increases in number of drunken driving deaths last year. But Utah, Kansas and Iowa had the largest percentage increases compared with 2005.

At the same time there are some that are pushing to lower the drinking age back to 18.

Over the strong objection of federal safety officials, a quiet movement to lower the legal drinking age to 18 is taking root as advocates argue that teenagers who are allowed to vote and fight for their country should also be able to enjoy a beer or two.

If that isn't like deja-vu all over again. Those are the same recycled arguments that were used in the 1970's. At the height of an unpopular war, not only couldn't you drink at 18 but you could be drafted into the military and you didn't even have the power to vote the bastards out of office. In 1971 the 26th Amendment to the Constitution granting the right to vote at 18 was passed. By 1973 the draft was ended and states around the country began to lower the drinking age. In Iowa it was done incrementally, first lowered to 19 then the following year to 18. Although at 16 I didn't know anyone 21 that would buy us alcohol it wasn't hard to find a willing accomplice that was 19. By 17 me and most of my high school class were getting into several local bars no questions asked.
Then a funny thing happened, somebody noticed that teenagers were killing themselves in disproportionate numbers compared to the rest of the drunk population. Common sense prevailed and the age was raised to 21 although some would argue the change was coerced by the feds.

I would agree that if you are old enough to fight for your country you should be able to have a beer. But only if you are actually willing to fight, therefore those possessing a military ID should be able to purchase alcohol, but lets not go back to the 70's. There also needs to be a renewed zero tolerance for DUI.
Why 21?

No comments: