TN CONA 2011

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Daniel's Propsoal

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1 Daniel's Propsoal on Thu May 19, 2011 2:08 pm


Lowering the Legal drinking age to 18

Colleges, Insurance Companies, Law enforcement, Young Adults, Alcohol distributors, food service industry, department of transportation, health care providers.

In the United States, each individual state government has the right to determine the legal minimum drinking age within its borders. In 1984 Congress passed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act. This act withholds 10% of federal highway funding that a state would receive (this ranges from 6-150 million) if that state had a legal minimum drinking age lower than 21. However, not everyone agrees with this as an idea of how to protect those between the ages of 18-20 from the harms of alcohol. According to the Amethyst Initiative, a document written by a group of 100+ college presidents representing Dartmouth, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Ohio State, Rhodes College, Syracuse, Virginia Tech, and many others:
“It’s time to rethink the drinking age… Twenty-four years later, our experience as college and university presidents convinces us that…Twenty-one is not working
A culture of dangerous, clandestine “binge-drinking”—often conducted off-campus—has developed.
Alcohol education that mandates abstinence as the only legal option has not resulted in significant constructive behavioral change among our students.
Adults under 21 are deemed capable of voting, signing contracts, serving on juries and enlisting in the military, but are told they are not mature enough to have a beer.
By choosing to use fake IDs, students make ethical compromises that erode respect for the law…”
Thousands of teens under the age of 21 are killed each year in alcohol related incidents, and it is obvious that the current drinking age isn’t working. Furthermore, when a citizen reaches the Legal age of Majority at 18 (although it could vary by state), they are required to register for the draft, buy and use the equally harmful drug nicotine, buy and carry weapons, vote, and sign a legally binding contract. If they can fight and die for our freedoms, shut they not have the freedom to drink responsibly? Reckless alcohol consumption occurs at every age, not just 18, 19, and 20.

• Repeal the National Minimum Drinking Age act of 1984 and allow the individual state governments to decide for themselves what would be appropriate instead of strong-arming and extorting by withholding federal funding.
• Carryout surveys and studies with the National Institute of Health, the Surgeon General, and the Center for Disease Control on the affects of alcohol relative to nicotine, a substance legal for those under 18.
• Host open forums for those who support and oppose a lower drinking age in order to determine the best age to allow those under 21 to use alcohol.
• Develop alcohol education curriculum that doesn’t focus primarily on abstinence, but instead focuses on the safe use and decision making in situations involving alcohol.
• Develop much stricter penalties for Driving under the Influence.
• Hold the vendors who sell alcohol or those of legal age that supply to underage drinkers accountable.

With the adoption of this proposal, a more informed and realistic decision about the legal minimum drinking age can be made. With the new information and opinions gathered, the traditional views of alcohol and underage consumption will be thrown out to make room for the modern and realistic results.

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2 Re: Daniel's Propsoal on Mon May 23, 2011 4:42 pm

Danny, the thing about your proposal is that when you're in debate, there won't be much reliance on facts. There is no proof to suggest that a drinking age of 18 in the United States (or rather, in any individual state) would reduce the number of alcohol-related deaths. The strongest argument I think you'll get will be the trickle-down effect, meaning that if now it's easy for an 18-year-old to access alcohol, reducing the drinking age to 18 will make it easy for a 15-year-old to get alcohol. Another tidbit to consider is that in other countries with lower drinking ages, personal driving is not usually as much as an issue as it is in the US. Yes, the binge drinking culture will be a good argument for you, as well will be the idea of culture training. I'm way in favor of your DUI action. Overall, good proposal, but again, it's going to be concept and not statistics that get you through committee (and the sympathies of under-21 delegates). P.S. For outstanding proposal purposes, standardize your capitalization, punctuatino, and format (particularly in the justification section).

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3 Re: Daniel's Propsoal on Mon May 23, 2011 5:09 pm

the facts are mainly there to make it look pretty. my main line of argument is going to be a sort of constitutional/rights based approach and attempting to show the absurdity of having it at age 21 instead of 18. I will also argue that by allowing alcohol at the age of 18 instead of 21 that we are able to eradicate a lot of the binge drinking and secret drinking by underage students, and that allowing them to drink openly like a 21 year old will make it easier to keep them safe.

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4 Re: Daniel's Propsoal on Mon May 23, 2011 5:15 pm

Absolutely. Try some heartwarming story like "An 18-year-old high school graduate has just returned home from boot camp on his last stop before being deployed. This man can be sent to die for the democracy and freedom he believes in, but he can't go to a sports bar with his dad to watch his last Titans game and order a Miller Lite." You're good at heartwarming. And the binge drinking argument is a big deal (that's what I meant by "culture training").

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5 Revisions on Mon May 23, 2011 5:50 pm

Hey Daniel,

It's totally up to you, but if you want to make revisions on this (grammatical or whatever), be sure to make them on the CONA website by May 27th. Email us if you have any trouble! I know we can make them through our advisor login if you can't.

Thanks! great job!

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