mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

How you can be 21 and still be underage...

I could probably write an entire blog just out of stupid shit I see on CNN Headline News while I'm on the treadmill at the gym. Today I found out that North Dakota and Minnosota have raised the drinking age from 21 to 21 and 8 hours. You can no longer purchase alcohol until 8am on the date of your birthday.

The idea is to discourage the practice of "power hour". Apparently, in those states bars close at 1am, so college students only have between midnight and 1am to do the traditional "one shot for each year" birthday celebration. Last year, some kid died of alcohol poisoning after doing 16 shots, so now the states have gotten laws passed that you can't purchase alcohol until 8am on the day of your 21st birthday - thus raising the drinking age by 8 hours. And I bet a bunch of you already thought 21 was too high for the drinking age...

Of course, this law does nothing. Kids will simply move their binge drinking to the night of their birthday instead of the morning. Or they will do their drinking in the comfort of their dorm rooms/frat houses/off-campus apartments, where there is even less control or supervision. Or they will drive to another state.

I didn't do the "21 shots" thing, and not just because I can't hold my liquor. I'm a summer birthday- August 11. Even though I did spend the summer of my 21st birthday in Baltimore and not at my parents, most of my friends were away around that time. My first legal beer purchase was actually a six pack of Dundee's Honey Brown at Cimino's Liquors on York Road (and the guy behind the glass shield went "how's it feel to finally buy beer legally?" when I gave him my ID).

But considering that most (ok, all) of the students who are going to try to do 21 shots in an hour are probably not strangers to drinking, regulating their drinking more heavily when they are actually 21 seems stupid. It's a needlessly complex law to prevent a personal, if rather stupid, choice. It's big brother at it's worst.

Which is why it probably won't be long until the other 48 states have this kind of law.


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