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President Reagan Made The Drinking Age 21 on July 17, 1984 – 30 Years Ago Today

 

Johannes Simon, Getty Images

Thirty years ago today July 17, President Reagan signed off on making the national drinking age 21. The law held back highway funds if states didn’t comply. Do you think 21 is too old, young or the correct age philosophically?

Raising the drinking age to 21 did bring down teen drinking and driving deaths dramatically.

There are studies suggesting the brain is still developing until about 25, but on the flipside, there is argument that we in the US put too much emphasis on drinking and that makes it too much of a forbidden fruit and kids get into binge drinking.

I know I grew up where the drinking age was and still is 19. Maybe I shouldn’t admit this but I was able to buy at the age of 17 without having someone go in for me.

That being said, it was a different time and could say being in Canada a slightly different culture. I know the last time I bought alcohol in New Brunswick which was last summer I was carded and I was 41. Canada has gotten tougher on minors drinking in recent years I understand.

I think 21 is a good age for civilians. I do think those in the armed forces should be able to drink under 21 if they choose where they’re fighting for our freedom and so we can sit, watch a ballgame and have a beer or two.

I like 21 as an age because it keeps it out of first and second year college students’ hands. I also like 21 because you understand your own mortality. Not that you’re totally mature at 21 but you’re more apt to make better decisions at 21 than you are at 18 or 19.

What I think is silly though is you can’t give your slightly underage son or daughter a glass of wine at dinner in your own home. I’d rather my kids learn the affects of alcohol at home under supervision than out on the street with friends but that’s just me.

The bottom line is 21 is 21 and whatever I say is just an opinion.

What do you think, is 21 a good age, too young or too old to drink legally?

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