My Shady Life as an Underage Drinker
Nick Tucker

I remember being 18 and not being allowed to drink. The difference is that I never felt the need to break the law to chug Natty lite. I just didn’t drink. It wasn’t a hardship, because my friends were not all amateur alcoholics. If I really, really wanted alcohol, I could ask my parents who would let me have a glass or two.

The problem is not “prohibition,” because you were already drinking even before the age of 18. The real problem is that you and your friends all have alcohol problems and are not capable of drinking responsibly. You can’t claim to be a responsible drinker if you’re also drinking to the point where you pass out. In England, the legal drinking age is much younger, and you get the same dangerous, irresponsible behavior, except that there’s no legal way to stop them.

The anti-drinking law isn’t in place to punish young people, it’s to protect everyone else. See, I was on the other side of the drunken passing out in my living room, only in my case, it was a drunken college kid who stumbled into my house in the middle of the night where I was sleeping with my kids. He could have been dangerous and hurt us. I could easily have panicked and shot him. We narrowly missed a horrible tragedy brought about by the commonly accepted trope that college=drinking. I deliberately say college “kid.” He may have been 22 years old, but if you’re doing something as stupid as getting so blotto that you don’t even know where you are, you have demoted yourself to a stupid kid.

Your feelings are not universal. Your relationship with alcohol, while distressingly common among some college students, is not healthy. The problem is not the law, the problem is a society that condones and encourages excessive drinking.

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