Three decades ago, the top song was Prince’s “When Doves Cry,” the biggest movie of the year was “Ghostbusters” and the Olympics were held in the United States. People who were 18 years old at the time also saw the legal drinking age move up to 21, where it remains today.
According to a new Gallup poll, Americans remain staunchly opposed to lowering the age back to 18. The polling company says 74 percent oppose the idea, with only 25 percent of respondents in support, echoing similar sentiments in recent years.
In fact, when President Ronald Reagan signed the bill in 1984, support for it was 79 percent to 21 percent, barely higher than it is now.
While some might argue that the law reduces the number of DUI arrests, others might point out that men and women can defend our nation in the U.S. military years before they can enjoy an alcoholic beverage.
The law was enacted, in part, because in 1984 different states had different legal drinking ages. That prompted young drivers in states with higher legal ages to drive to neighboring states with lower legal ages. The result was too often underage DUIs, or much worse, car accidents in which young lives were lost.
Those who drink alcohol at least occasionally are more supportive of lowering the age (29 percent) than those who abstain (18 percent). Those who consume alcohol at least once a week are even more supportive of the idea, weighing in with 35 percent support.
Whether over 21 or underage, those charged with DUI can face the legal system with the help of an attorney experienced in defending clients accused of drunk driving.
Source: Gallup.com, “Americans Still Oppose Lowering the Drinking Age,” Jeffrey M. Jones, July 24, 2014