The Minimum Drinking Age

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Americans and alcohol have always made for a volatile mix.

The nineteenth Century witnessed the rise of temperance movements. The twentieth century saw prohibition and its repeal. More recently, in the 1980s, the minimum legal drinking age was raised to twenty-one nationwide, with just a couple of pockets resisting the incentives of federal law. The 21 year old drinking age may be the most widely ignored law in the country, but its advocates say it saves hundreds of lives each year by reducing teenage drunk driving.

Critics of the law say it hasn’t eliminated problem drinking by the young, and it has forced college administrators to tolerate widespread lawbreaking, and even help regulate it. The twenty year old drinking age: Good Social Policy, or a puritanical vestige?
(Hosted by Robert Siegel)


Susan Foster VP and Director of Policy Research and Analysis at the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University

Omer Ismail, President of The Dartmouth

Dr. Ruth Engs, Professor of Applied Health Science at Indiana University

and Thomas Gerety, President of Amherst College.