21 Is Not Working

The powers that be at UT have unanimously decided that the Amethyst Initiative is not something UT should take part in. The Amethyst Initiative is calling for new debates about the drinking age because “21 is not working” for the legal drinking age.

I’m not sure why UT is so against the idea. The Amethyst Initiative was started by big-wigs at schools all over the U.S.A and already has a large number of people behind it. Considering UT is consistently ranked highly amongst party schools (1st, 14th, and 8th), I think any method to dampen the damage done by alcohol on campus would be wise.

In general, I think the more we repress a behavior, the worse the consequence whenever it surfaces. Young people are drinking. Most do it in private because they have to. If a high schooler drinks, it is not the end of the world. The problem arises whenever they drive home and attempt to deny their activity. At 18 you’re old enough to buy tobacco, go to war, and be tried as an adult, but you can’t drink. Prohibition failed, but this dangling archaic law persists. I’m all for rules to keep the peace and maintain public safety, but drinking itself is not the issue. It’s time we opened the debate and looked for what was best for our nation’s future.

And I’m not just complaining; here are a few ideas how we could achieve the spirit of the law more effectively:

  • create an alcohol awareness course for people who want to drink before 21 (like driver’s education)
  • allow military personnel to buy alcohol
  • allow college students to buy alcohol
  • increase public transportation
  • create more drunk-rides
  • put breathalyzers on all vehicles
  • increase penalties for drunken conduct