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Crazy? Professor says drinking age should be lowered to 8

On Behalf of | Jul 18, 2014 | Underage Drinking and Driving |

A Brown University anthropology professor says that the U.S. legal drinking age should be lowered from its present 21 to 8. Or it could be lowered even a bit more, down to 6 years old, he says.

Is he crazy? At first blush, the answer might appear to be a resounding “Yes!” But he’s not urging that children get drunk. He argues instead that it make senses for Americans to remove the cultural taboo from alcohol. That taboo adds an allure of the mysterious and forbidden to alcohol, which can spur binge-drinking among teens when they do get their hands on it.

In countries such as France, Germany and Italy, parents share small servings of wine with their children at family meals, preventing alcohol from being viewed by youngsters as a tantalizing treat which they can only access in secret sprees.

Denver parents know that binge drinking can have devastating health effects. In addition, they’re concerned about the potential harm an underage DUI can do to a teen’s future educational and employment opportunities.

When their child faces potentially severe legal consequences on top of possible long-term damage to a bright future, they will often speak with an attorney experienced in underage drunken driving charges about the options available.

Those consequences are part of why the professor urges America to transform its habit of walling off children from any contact with alcohol until they turn 21. “Alcohol has no mystique,” he argues. “It’s no big deal. By contrast, where it’s banned until age 21, there’s something of the ‘forbidden fruit’ syndrome.”

Source: KCRA, “Should the US lower its drinking age?” Brandon Griggs, July 16, 2014