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Old 02-10-2004, 07:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: Australia, Perth
About age and responsibilities

I went to my first 21st of this year, out of my friends. Anyway, in Australia as 21 year olds we don't actually get anything new in terms of responsibilites ie the ability to vote, drink, get porn etc all happened a the tender age of 18 for us.
As i found out (asking why's 21 so special here? to a few of the older people there), Australians used to have the 21 rule for drinking etc until there was a defiance of logic, in that you could sign up be in the army as a trained and hired killer, but you weren't allowed to drink.

I know that laws state to state in America differ vastly, however i was under the impression that generally Americans have to wait to 21 to drink, but can be hired to kill people at the age of 18 (or even younger?). Is it just me, or is that a little absurd? (unless i've got the rules incorrect?)

NOTE: i've used hired killer, cause fundamentally that's what the people are, but i realise that it's an extremely naive and crude way of defining them, so i am leaving it to try and leave an impact of my statement?

Got me?
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Old 02-10-2004, 08:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: About age and responsibilities

Quote:
Originally posted by Sleepyjack
I went to my first 21st of this year, out of my friends. Anyway, in Australia as 21 year olds we don't actually get anything new in terms of responsibilites ie the ability to vote, drink, get porn etc all happened a the tender age of 18 for us.
As i found out (asking why's 21 so special here? to a few of the older people there), Australians used to have the 21 rule for drinking etc until there was a defiance of logic, in that you could sign up be in the army as a trained and hired killer, but you weren't allowed to drink.

I know that laws state to state in America differ vastly, however i was under the impression that generally Americans have to wait to 21 to drink, but can be hired to kill people at the age of 18 (or even younger?). Is it just me, or is that a little absurd? (unless i've got the rules incorrect?)

NOTE: i've used hired killer, cause fundamentally that's what the people are, but i realise that it's an extremely naive and crude way of defining them, so i am leaving it to try and leave an impact of my statement?

Got me?
Well, hired killer statement aside, the laws do not vary by state anymore here in the US. You need to be 21 to drink period.

You can join the military at 18 of your own free will but to do it younger you need a waiver from your parents and the government.

I have heard rumors that military personnel stationed within a certain number of miles of the border to Mexico can drink on base legally (ostensibly to cut down on the number of 18 year old soldiers driving back and forth after drinking). Additionally, I think they can drink on base in countries where the drinking age is lower but I'm not sure about that.

I absolutely agree that the 21 year old age limit is bogus. Always have thought that if you can die for your country or help choose who runs it, you should be able to have a drink.
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Old 02-10-2004, 08:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The drinking age is 21 in the states and has been for about 15 years now. Fortunately for me I grew up close to the Canadian border so we always drove up there to go out (drinking age is 19 there).
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Old 02-10-2004, 08:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I've always felt that the opportunity to serve one's nation in the good and honorable armed forces at age 18 does in fact carry the clear implication of adulthood and to uphold drinking laws at a higher age level is nonsensical.

This from a person who doesn't drink.
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Old 02-10-2004, 08:47 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The really irritating part is that states are supposed to be able to set the drinking age on their own. And on paper, they can. It's just that the federal government won't give them any highway funding if they don't stick to 21.

The Confederates had the right idea about government in this country.
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Old 02-10-2004, 10:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I am on the side that if you are able to fight and protect your country, you have enough responsibility to drink at 18. Besides, a majority of 18 year olds probably drink anyways. Think about it.....more people legally able to buy alcohol? More taxes generated? Better roads and schools? Hmmm....might be onto something here.
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Old 02-10-2004, 10:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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You want to know what was irritating? The US government basically rammed that law through the states by threatening to withhold highway funds that are used for infrastructure development. The law was implemented here in Oklahoma about a month before I turned 18. There was grandfathering it in so that if you were 18 you could still drink. I got a fake ID right after that I used for the next 3 years without incident.
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Old 02-10-2004, 10:51 AM   #8 (permalink)
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the United States would be in a world of hurt if we lowered the drinking age to 18, it doesn't necessarily mean that between 18 and 21 you grow more in character, but you do in responsibility.

Vote, Get a job, Go to College, or join the military, do these things and figure out what you want to do with your life, before you have the opportunity to spend your days and nights in bars, and consuming alchohol, to lower your fortitude.
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Old 02-10-2004, 11:45 AM   #9 (permalink)
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moonstrucksoul - your well-stated views make enough sense to me that I would say it isn't "nonsensical" as I did above. That's always been my opinion, but I do see your point and you've changed my thinking a bit. I still hold the same view and I still don't recommend any one drink either. It's a complex issue, which is probably why it is implemented with contradictions.

When the argument is phrased comparing the armed services to the drinking age, it's a tough one to rebut. You did it well. Thanks.
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Old 02-10-2004, 11:57 AM   #10 (permalink)
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moonstrucksoul: that's bollocks.

Legal drinking age around here is 18, as the age for driving and we're not in for a world of hurt at all. I think between drinking at 21 or allowing them to drive at 16, which one will be more likely to cause hurt? Be consistent and only allow them to drive, drink and be regarded as legally mature at the same age.

edit: heh, funny that 2 replies to the same thing would have exactly opposite opinions, oh well Sorry, I just don't believe in making it illegal to enjoy a drink with friends. Alcohol abuse is a different matter tho.
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Old 02-10-2004, 11:59 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Despite the oft-repeated axiom that kids are growing up earlier than ever, I think moonstrucksould and onetime2 are both right. The right to vote, the need to register for selective service, and the drinking age should all be the same - and if that is decided to be 21, fine by me. I do feel that you should come into your adult responsibilies and rights all at once though. To round off my first sentence, I think many of the people who go straight to college from high school (more and more in the decades since WWII) are also putting off the responsibility of acting like adults. I have noticed that many of the freshmen we serve at school are essentially children - they can't even take care of themselves in our semi-managed environment!
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Old 02-10-2004, 12:16 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by ARTelevision
moonstrucksoul - your well-stated views make enough sense to me that I would say it isn't "nonsensical" as I did above. That's always been my opinion, but I do see your point and you've changed my thinking a bit. I still hold the same view and I still don't recommend any one drink either. It's a complex issue, which is probably why it is implemented with contradictions.

When the argument is phrased comparing the armed services to the drinking age, it's a tough one to rebut. You did it well. Thanks.
I would agree if it weren't for the fact that 18 year olds (and younger) are still drinking albeit outside of bars. Making it illegal almost certainly adds to the desire for some to do it.
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Old 02-10-2004, 08:43 PM   #13 (permalink)
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thats odd, i swear i posted in here. dont know why it didnt show up.

to reiterate what i said the first time, if the average person is not mature enough by age 18 to drink/vote/serve in army, then there is something wrong with society (which there is, in my view).
I see having a higher age as nothing but a copout by governments in order to avoid facing the problems about why people are maturing in some areas much faster now than previously, but arent matching that speed in other areas such as responsibility.
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Old 02-10-2004, 09:04 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Little correction, the drinking age varies in Canada from province to province. Where I am- 18
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Old 02-10-2004, 09:29 PM   #15 (permalink)
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and if you plan to come to south Texas and slip accross the border to drink, be aware====there is a city on the American side, and they WILL have a cop setting there watching for people who have had to much to drink..some of the spring breakers have found this out the hard way.

I have lost count of the young (16-18) kids who have died within a mile of the border from drunk driving...

That said, I will repeat what I have said before...if your old enough to fight and protect our country, your old enough to set on my porch and have a beer...
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Old 02-10-2004, 11:14 PM   #16 (permalink)
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A really stupid reason, but isn't the drinking age 21 to cut down on illegal, under-age drinking? The theory being that 18 year old's younger peers are more easily able to get alcohol when the drinking age is 18 versus 21.

So, the drinking age is 21 to keep 14-17 year olds from drinking.

My own personal experience was, when the drinking age was 18, I could easily get into a bar and drink when I was 16 or 17 and I thought I looked about 12.
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Old 02-10-2004, 11:41 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I agree with the stupid statement that being 18, you can die for ones country, but not drink. I had a hard time understanding the gov's logic in this area for quite some time. I am still in favor of the lowering of the drinking age. I am 24, so it no longer matters. Either they should raise the draftable age to 21, or lower the drinking age, one or the other!
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Old 02-11-2004, 12:10 AM   #18 (permalink)
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well i am 19 and have been drinking pretty heavily for 2 years now.. i believe the law is so that underagers have something to rebel against...? i dont know. not a big deal for me. a little bit of an inconvenience for me but thats about it.
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Old 02-11-2004, 12:36 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Here in Denmark, you can buy beer, wine and booze in stores from when you're 15. You can drink in bars from when you're 18.
Works fine. of course there are kids who drink too much, but I bet they would do it anyway if the limit was higher, they would just ally with somebody old enough.
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Old 02-11-2004, 04:28 AM   #20 (permalink)
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i agree that if you are old enough to vote and join the services you should be able to drink. i believe that if you are able to legelly drink at 18, buy the time you are 21 to 25 you have gottne most of that out of your system. if you cant legally go out to clubs and drink until you are 21, you are a lot older before you get it out of your system (i may be wrong, only my theory).

also, if you start drinking younger, you can be shown better drinking practices so that you dont just got ape shit. i would sit around with my dad, or a couple of other friends of mine who are in their mid 40s now, and have a few drinks when i was 16 and 17 and when i was 18 and legal to go out, i new how to drink responsibilly but still have a good time.
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Old 02-11-2004, 12:54 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Being 19, I agree with Sleepyjack. However I can see why the government inacted the law. It is mostly because there are a lot of stupid teenagers in the world who drink and drive. I however have never had a problem getting alcohol. I can get some from my frat buddies, or if I feel real dangerous go over to mexico (something which I don't recommend). So the law is kinda pointless for a lot of people if you have the right hookups. If people could be safe and smart the law would be at 18 instead of 21.
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Old 02-11-2004, 02:00 PM   #22 (permalink)
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OK - I'm going to take the unpopular side on this.

You're all comparing apples and oranges and assuming a connection where there is none.

Being a soldier involves being in good physical shape and obeying orders. Men reach their physical peak around age 18 or 19, so that's a great age to recruit soldiers. Any older than that and they're also likely to be less apt to blindly follow orders without a damned good explanation.

Being a responsible drinker involves - well, responsibility - and maturity. Not all people mature emotionally as fast as they do physically (and yes - some actually mature faster, but c'mon . . . )

There are a lot of things that happen around the same time - drive at 16, armed service at 18, vote at 18, drink and gamble at 21. That doesn't mean they should all happen at <u>exactly</u> the same time.

For those who argue that being in the armed services should be a factor in all age requirements, would you then also extend that logic to include raising the driving age to 18? Didn't think so.

There are a lot of people alive over the past 15 years because either they couldn't drink between the ages of 18-20; or didn't have to share a road with them.

Sure - when you get right down to it, people who abuse alcohol are going to do it no matter what age they start drinking. But at least the law now saves them for 3 more years.
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