Exit pursuing a beer
Raising the drinking age would be a stupid idea.
I can't really think of an argument for raising it, and I'm usually pretty good at playing devils advocate.
It's not what we're drinking, it's how we're drinking etc.
Idiots gonna idiot unfortunately. Better to have more control over where they can do that.
Twenty seems an odd age if it's going to be raised. Twenty-one is traditionally the age of majority, key of the door and all that.
But keep as is would seem the way to go. Unfair to punish the responsible eighteen and nineteen YOs for the sins of their twattier peers.
IMHO the idea of a "drinking age" is all a bit self-defeating anyway. The idea that at 17 years & 364 days old one's incapable of having a quiet beer and the next day one's fit to consume whatever one can afford is patently a nonsense.
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Keep it at 18. If I ever have kids, they'll be drinking younger than that so they don't go mad when they hit 18. But I don't think you'll stop teens binge drinking by raising the drinking age to 20. They'll just drink from 3L bottles of cider behind the nearest multi-storey and it'll change nothing.
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Last edited by benchmark00; 27-08-2012 at 07:08 AM.
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Should keep it at 18. Better than having the kids roaming the streets
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I often find myself defending my hopelessly biased view of keeping it 18 by the whole "They'll find a way to get on it anyway, so it'll make no difference". However, the tiny, sensible, part of my mind realises that this is the exact same logic used by anti-gun-control advocates. The 18 - 20 split between on and off licenses is probably the best compromise tbh.
Doesn't change the fact that the government is incredibly unwilling to attack one of the obvious roots of the problem - ridiculously cheap booze, especially RTDs. Should really smack some taxes on them, though I can't see John "best friend of business" Key going in that direction.
Last edited by wellAlbidarned; 27-08-2012 at 05:28 PM.
Yeah but ridiculously expensive booze of that type has caused a new problem here; pre-loading. We had the same problem here, RTD's get people < 20 yrs pissed quicker. Solution? Tax. Response? People pre-mix voddy and cordial at home, putting in far more alcohol per drink than they'd get in an RTD. Consequence? Jumped-up, three-sheets by 8pm under-20's ready to go you at the slightest provocation. The UK are dealing with this exact thing right now and, well, they're currently bumping up against the whole 'people want to get bent and will so do no matter what you do' ceiling. So, even though alcohol-related crime in Australia is influenced downward by stuff like this, it's a limited effect and the nature of the assault changes. Fewer minor scuffles, but more king hits, etc.
The other thing is that raising the drinking age and having places shut earlier does work from a political standpoint. There's actually quite a bit of evidence, stemming mainly from experiments in Newcastle* that the incidence of alcohol-related violence decreased quite a bit (see Kyp Kypri's work**) and there's similar with regards raising the drinking age. The rationale goes that people are generally law-abiding, rational people and upon seeing a hard limit, will respond accordingly and either wait until of age or keep a lid on it until then. Those who drink to hardcore levels are in the minority, will do so regardless of what laws are in place, etc. That's the rationale. So, yes, measures like this do bring the numbers down. However, there are many, many problems and limitations with studies like these but they're almost imposible to measure, let alone allow for in the models.
For example, the research has been clear for many years that there are several age correlates with alcohol; older people (until about 60) drink much, much less than younger people. Increasing drink prices, increased police precense, restrictions on opening hours have, likely, driven older people away to have a drink at home instead. So, already you see an increase in the proportions of those being victims of and admitting to perpetrating violent assaults around licensed prems. Solution? Crack down. Response? Alcohol-related violence drops, mainly because the opportunity to drink whilst out and about decreases. Future consequences? Unmeasurable (have no idea of the levels of alcohol-related violence outside of licensed prems) so we assume the measures are working. I know of several researchers in the area experimenting with composite measures but they are incredibly easy to criticise so plugging and chugging into a model becomes a very iffy exercise but, well, at least it gets the next grant.
Incidentally, watch out for the new black in this area; outlet density. It partly explains why the only people concerned about licensed prems' closures are the owners of licensed prems (and bands ). Some of the other measures being suggested make ya laugh, though; American researchers have experimented with having people in licensed prems whose specific job is to pull up anyone getting somewhat loosed to tone it down a teenth. Some would say that's the role older people in licensed prems played before they were driven away......
* Yes, yes, I know, Newcastle's generalisability is limited. Absolutely a valid criticism of those studies.
** Know this fella, hung out with him at a conference dinner last year, I didn't drink and he got utterly schtonkered but rocked up the next day like nothing had happened. Solid. Pretty sure there's a word for someone who heavily advocates restrictions on something they so joyously engage in, though.
Last edited by Top_Cat; 27-08-2012 at 06:42 PM.
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