Should The US Lower Its Drinking Age?
There actually is no federal drinking age law but there are state drinking age laws that the federal government coerces states to adapt.
Each week on TestTubePlus, we cover one topic from multiple angles. This week, Trace will be talking about alcohol: why do we drink it, and is it good for us? So far, we've talking about what the earliest known alcohol is, and why some people get black-out drunk. Today we talk about the drinking age in the U.S. Why is it 21, and should it be lowered?
Before the minimum drinking age laws, 16- to 20-year-olds were the most common drunken drivers. As the drinking age was raised, the number of fatal crashes involving young drivers dropped significantly, from 61% in 1982 to 31% in 1995. FDR led the charge for U.S. to lower the age to 18 in some states during World War II. Though, it didn't last long due to increased traffic fatalities.
There have been loopholes throughout history: Up until 1995, Louisiana made it illegal for minors to purchase alcohol... but it wasn't illegal to sell to them. Indian reservations are considered domestic sovereigns, and therefore manage their own drinking laws. Though, most have enforced a 21 age drinking limit.
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Origins of Human Alcohol Consumption (LiveScience)
"Human ancestors may have begun evolving the knack for consuming alcohol about 10 million years ago, long before modern humans began brewing booze, researchers say."
The Archeology of Alcohol (Eaines.com)
"Around the world and throughout time, humans have demonstrated a nearly universal proclivity for alcoholic beverages. As cultural anthropologist David Mandelbaum of the University of California notes, cultural attitudes towards alcohol vary around the world from adoration to proscription of drink, but there are few cultures that completely ignore alcohol."