I vote no

College presidents want to lower the drinking age to 18, and I think they’ve got the worst rationale ever:

“Kids are going to drink whether it’s legal or illegal,” said Johns Hopkins President William R. Brody, who supports lowering the drinking age to 18. “We’d at least be able to have a more open dialogue with students about drinking as opposed to this sham where people don’t want to talk about it because it’s a violation of the law.”

Isn’t that the parents’ job?

As a bartender, I often question if the drinking age isn’t high enough.  Of course, physical age is rarely truly indicative of mental or emtional maturity, and that’s really the number you want to use to judge.  But as many college kids as I see over 21 that can’t handle their alcohol, one of my stronger nightmares is letting even younger kids in to the bar.

I think the sentiment is there, but the solution to binge drinking isn’t just to drop the age.  Europeans are allowed to drink younger because the culture there is different.  Kids are taught early on about the effects of alcohol, about the responsibilities that come with drinking.  Maybe more importantly, being drunk is frowned upon — that makes a huge difference.  Here, being drunk is maybe a little funny, but nothing to be too embarassed about; that’s a huge difference, and my main issue with lowering the drinking age.

Don’t lower the drinking age so you can talk to the kids — talk to the kids and then let’s consider changing the laws to fit.