MADD Chief Executive Officer Chuck Hurley notes that several studies have found that the 21-year-old drinking age saves lives. As the Associated Press reported, a survey of research from the United States and other countries by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded that the 21-year-old drinking age has saved lives.
By that account, then, raising the drinking age to 25 or 30 or 40 would save lives, too. But there is this thing called freedom. And freedom should apply to men and women old enough for military service, old enough to get married and old enough to have had an abortion (four years before).
There is something nasty in the way MADD takes on the critics. "Parents should think twice before sending their teens to these colleges or any others that have waved the white flag on underage and binge-drinking policies," MADD President Laura Dean-Mooney warned. This is MADD's way of trying to stifle debate.
MADD execs also have charged that university presidents want to rethink the drinking age to make their lives easier -- as if they don't care about students -- or to protect against legal liability. Now maybe the argument that lowering the age will reduce binge drinking is just plain wrong, but it also is false to argue that the 21-year-old limit has stopped teen drinking.
How can we trust 18-year-olds to vote or run for office, but not to legally buy a beer?