Drinking Age/Driving Age

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by beatsme, Sep 6, 2006.

  1. beatsme macrumors 65816

    beatsme

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    #1
    got to talking about this in an unrelated thread posted in the Community forum, so I thought I'd post it in here...

    I'm thinking that, in the US, the drinking age should be lowered to 18 and the driving age should be raised to 18. I can't name anyone who didn't start drinking before the age of 21 (well, maybe one or two, but they don't drink at all), and as anyone who's lived in the US can tell you, it's no real problem to get alcohol before you're of legal age.

    but the driving age, well...I think that a 16 year-old just doesn't have the maturity to handle driving a car; the motor skills, yes, but the maturity, no. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death in the 15-20yr. old age group, and I know that I drove wrecklessly when I was that age, and so did pretty much all of my friends. You have to believe that there's a cause and effect relationship in there somewhere.

    any thoughts?
     
  2. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Location:
    Penryn
    #2
    I agree that the driving age should be raised to at least 17, but the drinking age should only be lowered to 20 at the most. America's inability to view alcohol as anything other than inherently evil means most kids who drink are going to abuse it, especially those in rural or suburban areas. Unfortunately, neither is going to happen due to the entrenched attitudes towards both.
     
  3. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #3
    The problem is that the US is a big, diverse place. A 17-year old highschool graduate (or highschooler over the summer) from a small town or rural community needs to be able to drive to work. Kids in cities don't have the same issues.

    It also seems to be a bad idea to challenge kids to handle both new responsibilities at the same time.

    A lot of localities take a staggared approach. Driving to work and driving during the day are OK under 18. Perhaps there could be some kind of limited alcohol legality as well. Drinking in restaurants with parental supervision is OK, for instance, for anyone over 18.
     
  4. bowens macrumors 6502a

    bowens

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2006
    Location:
    Trenton, FL
    #4
    Well, make that 3. I never have and never will drink. You only know 1 or 2 people that don't drink?
     
  5. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #5
    Personally I'd like to see both upped to 21 here, with a limitation on cc and the hours that you're allowed to drive (e.g. 7am-10pm) until they're 25.
     
  6. hob macrumors 68020

    hob

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #6
    Most restaurants in the UK will serve Alcohol to anyone who looks to be about 16 or older. This of course can be abused by idiots coming in and just ordering beer. But I've yet to see this happen, and I'd imagine such idiots would be asked to leave!

    I also think that changing drinking and driving ages to be exactly the same seems to be asking for trouble...!
     
  7. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #7
    not if we allow them to also have firearms at 18.
     
  8. beatsme thread starter macrumors 65816

    beatsme

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    #8
    oh yea. Though I know a few people who still treat it like it's some kind of contest or an end in itself. "WOOHOO...LET'S GET HAMMERED!" I always found that kind of attitude a little irritating when I was younger, and to be quite honest, I still do.
     
  9. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #9
    Here Drinking Age = 18

    Driving:

    Learner's Permit (can only drive with a licensed driver and must have 50 hours of different driving conditions and skills logged and signed by licensed driver) = 16. Involves a computer test on rules and regulations.

    "Red" Provisional Permit (can drive without supervision at a maximum of 80km/h) = 16yr 9months or when 50 hours of L-plate driving is logged, whichever comes last. Involves an on-road driving test and a computer hazard perception test.

    1st "Green" Provisional Permit (same as above but with 100km/h limit) = one year after getting Red P's. Computer hazard perception test.

    2nd "Green" Provisional Permit (as above, just a refresher course) = one year after getting 1st "green" P's.

    Full License (no restrictions on speed - you can drive the full legal speed limit) = one year after 2nd green P's - Computer hazard perception test.

    For all license levels below the full license the Blood Alcohol Level is 0.02 (you cannot drink but the 0.02 allows for learners who may have eaten liqueur chocolates etc, an alcoholic drink will put you over the limit). On your full license the BAL is 0.05.

    There are huge, HUGE penalties for drink-driving in Australia. Neither me nor my friends would even consider it. It's part of our culture, we drink a lot but will ALWAYS take a taxi or get a lift with someone sober to get home. It's a very small, stupid minority who get behind the wheel after a drink. My group wouldn't even consider it after 2 drinks maximum.
     
  10. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #10
    How's that going to work if you need to drive to work? A lot of people under 25 work night jobs.

    EDIT: Also, whilst they are learning, wouldn't it be a good idea to have them driving at night? They need as much experience as possible. Our learner driver's logbooks require night driving, inclement weather driving, dusk, early morning, all sorts of things a driver will need to be aware of and it all has to be signed off by the licensed driver supervising the learner from the passenger's seat.
     
  11. beatsme thread starter macrumors 65816

    beatsme

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    #11
    well, I look at it like this:
    if you're under 21 and you want to drink, you're going to be able to. So having the legal age set at 21 seems particularly pointless. For all intents and purposes it just doesn't make any difference.

    re: the driving age, if the kids are going to drink (and they are), it seems like the smart thing to do is to keep motor vehicles out of the equation. It's easy to get beer when you're underage, but where are you going to get a car? No way that's going to happen without mom & dad's knowledge/consent.

    granted, I haven't really thought the matter through very carefully, or indeed at all. It just kind of popped in my head...
     
  12. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    VA
    #12
    That's completely unreasonable. Assuming you're a law-abiding citizen, anybody beyond high school should be granted unrestricted driving privileges for the sake of their livelihood. This should be patently obvious.
     
  13. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #13
    Errr walk? cycle? bus? taxi? scooter? parents? friends? it is possible to manage without a car.

    Ultimately... sometimes people must be willing to make compromises to how they go about their lives, if dramatic changes are to be made that will make a significant and meaningful improvement to society and our way of life as a whole.
     
  14. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #14
    Oh there's many things that could be done to improve how learners are taught to drive, I think that's the greatest problem with our system is that when you learn to drive, you're learning to pass a test... you're not actually learning to drive to a particularly safe or high standard.
     
  15. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #15
    when i was in HS, i had a job out in the country (and out of state) bussing tables. at 2 am, i sure wouldn't have felt like cycling home 20 miles in my uniform.

    then there was the job cleaning offices (20 miles), the job at the truck place (15 miles), the job at the lumber yard (15 miles), the jobs at the banks (5, 10, 15, 25 miles, but in nice clothes). that's just a sample.

    use of my car was how i was able to put myself through college.
     
  16. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    VA
    #16
    My partner drives over 20 miles to downtown Dallas six days a week for work. That's 66 hours per week. Walking or cycling simply aren't possible. Taxis aren't financially possible either. The parents live an hour away. Many friends are also under 25 and/or have their own lives and jobs. Do you have another suggestion?
     
  17. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #17
    You guys must have a different driving exam then. Combined with the 50 hours of logged driving in different conditions the driving exam is lengthy and is conducted on public roads from highways to back streets to busy traffic. No two tests are the same.

    And yeah it is possible to get around without a car it's often the least safe or convenient. I used to have to travel 150km (~100 miles) to work and would finish well past midnight - required a car, no other reasonable way of getting home. And I am not alone in that situation, loads of people here travel for hours to get to work - it's a really big country.
     
  18. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #18
    Yes... plenty. Train? tram? tube? monorail? ;)

    I can see what's coming. :p
     
  19. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #19
    Gyrocopter??
     
  20. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    VA
  21. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #21
    I wasn't suggesting that it should be implemented on a international scale for heaven's sake, what's suitable for one country, obviously isn't necessarily going to be the right solution for another. :rolleyes:

    I don't think such a solution itself is instantly viable (though I think the restriction on cc is perfectly feasible/reasonable, and would certainly contribute to a reduction in serious accidents) straight off the bat.

    Though for such a system to work and be successful, you need to have a viable and safe public transport infrastructure in place, and that then has a knock on effect, increase in employment, a reduction in pollution, less congestion etc etc.
     
  22. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #22
    What do you mean by "cc"??
     
  23. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #23
    You can cycle 20 miles in an hour. ;)

    *stirs the pots* :p
     
  24. timnosenzo macrumors 6502a

    timnosenzo

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2004
    Location:
    ct, us
    #24
    Pretty sure in Connecticut the minimum driving age is being raised to 18.
     
  25. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #25
    Cubic capacity. Engine power.

    As it stands... at least in UK, you can pass your test in a 1.0, and there is nothing stopping you buying a Ferrari the same day. Even though learning to drive doesn't actually teach you any advanced driving techniques (well, I'd consider them to be essential actually).

    Though thankfully, we're not quite as ridiculous as the U.S., there you can pass in an automatic, and you're legally entitled to drive a manual... even though you may never have driven one.

    F**king ludicrous in the extreme.
     

Share This Page