Where Does Legal Drinking Age Come from

Interesting Triftelles: The group takes its name from the figure Amethyst in Greek mythology. She came into conflict with a drunken Dionysus, who turned her into a white stone. When the god found out what he had done, he poured wine on the stone and turned it into the purple rock we know as amethyst. The ancient Greeks wore the mineral as a form of protection against drunkenness. Most laws only apply to alcohol consumption in public places and not to alcohol consumption in private homes. Some countries also have a minimum age for certain beverages, such as distilled alcohol. While this age may seem a bit random (maybe even arbitrary), since you`re a legal adult at 18, Congress didn`t just choose the number of a hat. There is a long and rich history about alcohol in America and why the legal drinking age is set at 21. In Canada, there is no federal law setting a minimum age for drinking. Each province and territory can set its own legal drinking age. The drinking age has been raised to 21 due to federal funding for highways.

University presidents who have supported the Amethyst Initiative — a movement launched in 2008 to rethink the national drinking age of 21 — admit that drunk driving is a serious problem, but they stress that it`s not the only potential pitfall for young drinkers. They argue that by lowering the drinking age, colleges would be able to bring alcohol outside and educate students about responsible drinking. Such education could help reduce alcohol poisoning, drunk injuries, alcohol-related violence and alcoholism on campus. The National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 [23 U.S.C. § 158] requires states to prohibit persons under the age of 21 from publicly purchasing or possessing alcoholic beverages as a condition of receiving state highway funds. A federal ordinance interpreting the law excludes possession “for established religious purposes” from the definition of “public property”; accompanied by a parent, spouse or legal guardian who is at least 21 years of age; for medical purposes, if prescribed or administered by a physician, pharmacist, dentist, nurse, hospital or authorized medical facility; in clubs or private institutions; or for the sale, handling, transportation, or supply of liquor by reason of the lawful employment of a person under twenty-one years of age by a duly licensed manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer of liquor” [23 C.F.R. § 1208.3]. (b) Effect of withholding funds. Funds that, under this section, are transferred from an allowance to a state after 30 years. September 1988 may not be distributed to that State. Late 1960s and 1970s: lowering of the drinking age.

In the late 1960s and 1970s, nearly all states lowered the drinking age to 18. This led to a dramatic increase in alcohol-related car accidents, and drunk driving was considered a public health crisis. In the mid-1970s, 60 percent of all road deaths were alcohol-related, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH). More than two-thirds of car accidents involving people aged 16 to 20 were alcohol-related. Along with Iceland, Japan and South Korea, the United States is one of the few developed countries to have a legal drinking age above 18, according to the World Health Organization. In some countries, such as Belgium and Germany, 16-year-olds are allowed to buy alcohol. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that annual road deaths have dropped by 16 percent as the legal drinking age has been lowered to 21, which equates to about 800 lives saved each year, according to the American Journal of Public Health. Interestingly, it also seems to affect class attendance if alcohol is kept further away from young people. Compared to states that had a legal drinking age of 18, students were 13 times more likely to stay in school when the legal drinking age in the state was 21. The minimum drinking age in Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec is 18.

Canada`s other provinces and territories allow the legal purchase of alcohol at age 19. In the years following the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, alcohol consumption fell by 19 per cent among 18- to 20-year-olds and by 14 per cent among 21- to 25-year-olds. This was particularly interesting because research has shown that most minors report that alcohol is “fairly easy” or “very easy” to obtain. When it comes to alcohol, even small behavioral checks seem important, Glasner-Edwards says. “If it takes more effort, it saves the person some time to think about how important it is for them to drink at that time or to consider the possible negative consequences of alcohol consumption,” she explains. “It seems that these barriers are significant for young people to benefit from these minimum age laws.” In 1971, the 26th Amendment lowered the national voting age from 21 to 18. Wisconsin was the first U.S. state to adopt a minimum drinking age in 1839. It prevented the sale of wines or spirits to persons under the age of 18 without parental consent. Since then, alcohol consumption by high school students has decreased significantly, from 66% to 42% (see chart). Over the same period, binge drinking among high school graduates, that is, five or more drinks occasionally, decreased from 37% to 24%. However, determining the underlying cause of this decline in the total number of deaths is not an easy task.

Deaths from non-alcoholic traffic crashes also decreased relative to the number of kilometres driven over the same period, due to a number of causes, including increased seat belt use, widespread use of airbags, and other improvements in car and road safety. In addition, drunk driving may decrease for the general population due to increased education on consequences, harsher penalties, better enforcement, or increased stigmatization of impaired driving. But the legal drinking age has not been set for medical reasons. 1933- Late 1960s: After prohibition. In December 1933, the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, repealing the ban. Most states set their drinking age at 21, but some set it lower.