Should the drinking age be consistent with the age other adult ‘rights’ are granted? It's A Question of Balance with Ruth Copland


At 18 in the US you can vote, have sex, smoke, get married, sign a legally binding contract, join the military, but you can’t drink alcohol until the age of 21. What is the rationale for this inconsistency? Is there a valid reason to differentiate the age for drinking or is it an anachronism? Some argue that studies indicate the brain is still developing until the age of 25 affecting the quality of decision-making, risk-assessment, empathy and insight, and causing emotion to trump rational processing. If this is the case surely this affects all decision-making? Perhaps rather than the drinking age being lowered the age of majority should be raised for the other adult rights, such as smoking, having sex, joining the military, and voting, to an age when the brain is fully developed?

Ruth Copland features her thought-provoking interviews Out and About on the street asking ‘Should the drinking age in the USA be consistent with the age other adult ‘rights’ are granted?’

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