Report aims to end legal drinking age debate

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A Boston researcher released a report Monday which he hopes will put an end to the legal drinking age debate.

The legal drinking age in all states has been 21 since the mid-80s, but some people argue that if alcohol wasn’t so ‘forbidden’ to teens and young adults, they’d be less likely to sneak and binge drink. One supporter of lowering the legal drinking age told 22News that if someone is legally an adult at 18, they should be able to enjoy making adult decisions, and be held accountable for those decisions.

“It was something to look forward to. When you’re turning 18 you were considered an adult. Able to make adult decisions and one of those decisions was to drink. It’s a responsibility thing,” said Larry Macari.

A Boston University researcher released a new report Monday, which argues that the current drinking age law saves lives, and that drinking among college students has gone down slightly over the past two decades.

The researcher who released this report compared it to the speed limit. If it’s 65, drivers might push it to 70, 75 miles per hour. If the drinking age is reduced to 18, teenagers might start experimenting when they’re 15 or 16.

Others claim the question of age isn’t the issue; what needs to change is the way drunk driving is punished.

“My boyfriend got into a recent car accident with a 50-year-old guy drinking at 4:30PM and hit him head on. You have to realize you’re risking your life and other people’s lives,” said Kayla Dlubac.

Back in 2008, then UMass President Jack Wilson joined other college presidents to form the Amethyst Initiative, which explored changing the legal age limit. He told the Boston Herald he still supports an 18-year-old drinking age.

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