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Thread: Damn, the drinking laws in the USA are strict

  1. #1
    Viceroy of the Indian Empire Member Duke Malcolm's Avatar
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    Default Damn, the drinking laws in the USA are strict

    I recently returned from a lengthy holiday in the US, which was very nice, if not too hot, but one of the downfalls must have been the fact that I was not legally allowed to drink, being under the age of 21.
    We are allowed to drink from the age of 5 year, as long as it is in private (not a public house, off-licence, or on the streets) and there is an adult present.
    What do you US folks think about not being able to drink (legally) at 21?

    Oh, and gambling. You aren't allowed to gamble in public either, apparently, in the US. I do it often in public here, even in school. My chemistry teacher let us use his classroom for a poker game, and we played pontoon/blackjack on a school trip.
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    Medical Welshman in London. Senior Member Big King Sanctaphrax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Damn, the drinking laws in the USA are strict

    Oh, and gambling. You aren't allowed to gamble in public either, apparently, in the US. I do it often in public here, even in school. My chemistry teacher let us use his classroom for a poker game, and we played pontoon/blackjack on a school trip.
    I used to gamble all the time in High School, me and my mates had a poker circle going.

    I imagine that the drinking age differs from state to state, does it not? Personally, I think our drinking age is too high-we should drop it to sixteen, to bring it in line with smoking and being able to leave home.
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    Member Member bmolsson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Damn, the drinking laws in the USA are strict

    I think they should raise the age for Americans. Their large ego is just TOO large with to much alcohol under the hat.....

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    Lord of the House Flies Member Al Khalifah's Avatar
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    Default Re: Damn, the drinking laws in the USA are strict

    Lower the drinking age to 18 and make it 100% strict. Always ask for ID if in doubt.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Damn, the drinking laws in the USA are strict

    The law is a joke I have seen 16 year olds drinking. If they want it they will find a way.
    Formerly ceasar010

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    Master of Few Words Senior Member KukriKhan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Damn, the drinking laws in the USA are strict

    It is a matter for individual States to decide.

    BUT (you knew there'd be a 'but', right?) the Fed Gov't uses the stick of federal highway money since 1984 to 'encourage' States to comply with 21 year old drinking law.

    During Viet Nam (and the draft) drinking and voting age was dropped to 18 from 21 (old enough to fight and die? Old enough to vote & drink). Late 70's & early 80's saw a drmatic increase in drink-drive fatalities in 18-22 year olds. So they raised it again.

    Gambling? Yeah...outlawed in most States because of its connection to the Mob (Mafia). Small-time local, informal betting usually gets overlooked.
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    Old Town Road Senior Member Strike For The South's Avatar
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    Default Re: Damn, the drinking laws in the USA are strict

    Ya those laws are spineless same with the gambling laws if you and your buddies want to no one will stop you
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    Speaker of Truth Senior Member Moros's Avatar
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    Default Re: Damn, the drinking laws in the USA are strict

    haha strange Americans 21 hihi...
    glad I live in the country of beer and Chocolate...and close to the Netherlands counrty of prostitution and drugs

  9. #9

    Default Re: Damn, the drinking laws in the USA are strict

    In Denmark you can legally purchase alcohol from the stores at age 16, and drink in bars/clubs at age 18. A lot of young ones in Denmark dring. It is common to have been drunk at 12-14 years. This it too early in my opinion. Danish youths are the ones consuming most alchohol in europe.

    If this is connected to the laws, they should be stricter, because I dont find it advantageous that children at 12 drink.

    That said, I think 21 is just too strict.
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    Jillian & Allison's Daddy Senior Member Don Corleone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Damn, the drinking laws in the USA are strict

    The major difference between the US and most of Europe, beyond the drinking age, is the driving age. I might be wrong, but I'm pretty sure you're not allowed to drive at age 16 in most European countries. What's more, even when you have a license, there's nowhere near the traffic on the roads. Automobile travel is an integral part of our way of life. Banning 16 year olds from driving just isn't practical. Alcohol doesn't play as large a part in our way of life as it does in yours, and therefore is easier to control/ ban for youngsters.
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    Devil's Advocate Member xemitg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Damn, the drinking laws in the USA are strict

    In many states the drinking age used to be 18 but the federal government threatened to cut off their funding to those states unless they changed the drinking age to 21. My state government could change the age to 18 tomorrow if they wanted but would lose federal funding. Nobody really pays attention to the drinking laws.....

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    Corporate Hippie Member rasoforos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Damn, the drinking laws in the USA are strict

    No such limit can potentially work.

    First of all its so easy to violate it.

    Secondly it makes a thrill out of binge drinking and alcohol consumption.



    So are these laws more or less 'legal fossils' at the moment?
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    Jillian & Allison's Daddy Senior Member Don Corleone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Damn, the drinking laws in the USA are strict

    I don't know that I buy the logic that making alcohol inaccessible to minors is the cause of binge drinking. It's very accessible to minors in the UK, as they can begin going to pubs at (is it 15 or 16?) and there's lots of binge drinking there.
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    Corporate Hippie Member rasoforos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Damn, the drinking laws in the USA are strict

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Corleone
    I don't know that I buy the logic that making alcohol inaccessible to minors is the cause of binge drinking. It's very accessible to minors in the UK, as they can begin going to pubs at (is it 15 or 16?) and there's lots of binge drinking there.

    Yes because it becomes a thrill to young people here too. They think it something really great and forbidden and they try to obtain alcohol any way the can. The fact that going to a pub for a night out means that you only have a window of opportunity of 1 to 1.5 hours to drink doesnt help either ( pubs close at 11.00)...

    Still its the same, the thrill of the limit and the hour restriction have imbedded binge drinking into the psyche of a lot of young people.
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    Standing Up For Rationality Senior Member Ronin's Avatar
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    Wink Re: Damn, the drinking laws in the USA are strict

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Corleone
    The major difference between the US and most of Europe, beyond the drinking age, is the driving age. I might be wrong, but I'm pretty sure you're not allowed to drive at age 16 in most European countries. What's more, even when you have a license, there's nowhere near the traffic on the roads. Automobile travel is an integral part of our way of life. Banning 16 year olds from driving just isn't practical. Alcohol doesn't play as large a part in our way of life as it does in yours, and therefore is easier to control/ ban for youngsters.
    over here itīs 18 year for both driving and drinking....altough the drinking limit isnīt enforced in the least...unless you go to a really high-end bar...and there they will turn kids away.


    as for the traffic argument ha!!....i live in the car-traffic hell of the western world...highest fatality rates in europe by far....some people say that they have been to war so they think they are tough!..HA!..i laugh in your general direction...i have driven without stop from the north of my country all the way to the algarve in the south...thatīs the equivalent to a campaign in iraq at least

    now seriously....the average portuguese is a complete nutjob once it getīs in a car...iīve picked up foreign friend from the airport and driven them across town to my house....when we arrived there they were allmost literally kissing the ground in jubilation for being alive ....i donīt notice it anymore tough
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    Default Re: Damn, the drinking laws in the USA are strict

    in the U.S. it's harder to buy alcohol if under 21/uncertainty over your age than it is in the U.K.

    What's frustrating is when you're in your mid 20s (like myself), you don't have your ID and they decide that they are not going to sell you alcohol because you don't look like you are 70. Seriously, it seems like half the places you can buy alcohol have a policy of "if you weren't in WW2 then we won't sell you beer without an ID". Then you get paranoid that you look really ancient when you don't get ID-ed at somewhere that has a more lax policy (e.g. the sort of establishment that just wants a correct answer: *to pre-pubescent kid* "How old are you?"
    *Squeaky cracking up voice* "21, sir"
    "just have to be careful about the kids mr customer sir, enjoy your beer").
    I now just get the girlfriend to buy because she looks about 18 and so ALWAYS gets ID-ed at law obsessed places and doesn't get the paranoia that I do if we go to one of the non-ID places.

  17. #17
    Scruffy Looking Nerf Herder Member Steppe Merc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Damn, the drinking laws in the USA are strict

    The drinking laws are stupid. If you can vote and join the army, you should be able to drink.
    Heck, when I go to bars to see bands with my dad, they often even card him, and he's no youngster.
    And it's not like people my age can't get booze. It's just more difficult, and causes more people to get busted (though pot contributes to that too).

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    Default Re: Damn, the drinking laws in the USA are strict

    SteppeMerc

    I was at a bar with my girlfriend's dad: he got ID-ed with his white hair and moustache and his weatherworn carpenter's face. He's in his early fifities and they still ID-ed him.

  19. #19
    Speaker of Truth Senior Member Moros's Avatar
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    Default Re: Damn, the drinking laws in the USA are strict

    hihi and that while I drunk my first beer when I was 5 or 4 years old!

    driving at your 16th? I don't know, it takes lots of responsibilities. While being drunk isn't well as long as you're not driving anyway.

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    Arena Senior Member Crazed Rabbit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Damn, the drinking laws in the USA are strict

    I don't know that I buy the logic that making alcohol inaccessible to minors is the cause of binge drinking. It's very accessible to minors in the UK, as they can begin going to pubs at (is it 15 or 16?) and there's lots of binge drinking there.
    I think binge drinking has to do with the attitude of many kids that when they drink, they are going to get drunk, not just have a beer or two.

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  21. #21
    Scruffy Looking Nerf Herder Member Steppe Merc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Damn, the drinking laws in the USA are strict

    I never understood that myself. Why do people want to get drunk often? I understand social drinking, or getting drunk if your girlfriend dumped you or something, but not drinking for the sole reason of getting drunk.
    But Rabbit is right, that does seem to be the goal of drinking for most folks my age.

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  22. #22
    Not affiliated with Red Dwarf. Member Ianofsmeg16's Avatar
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    Default Re: Damn, the drinking laws in the USA are strict

    Quote Originally Posted by Big King Sanctaphrax
    I used to gamble all the time in High School, me and my mates had a poker circle going.
    Thats nothing BKS before school ended me and my mates had an underground table tennis league going on, nobody found out either!
    Yeah the drinking laws suck in America. But, like over here, Everybody gets around it by finding an older guy to buy booze for you. Or what i do and use thios dude who shoplifts everything
    EDIT: @ Crazed Rabbit, my friends always get drunk for the sole reason of getting drunk, but i'm the guy who's dad gave him whiskey at five so eleven years later i can handle my drink, but i'm also the guy who stays sober and looks after all the drunk chicks
    Last edited by Ianofsmeg16; 08-08-2005 at 17:13.
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    Dux Nova Scotia Member lars573's Avatar
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    Default Re: Damn, the drinking laws in the USA are strict

    To be fair you can get a license at 16 but it has to have your parents signature. Without that you can't get a license on your own till your 18. But here in the liberal socialist north you can drink at 19 in every province/territiry except Quebec and Manitoba, where it's 18. So most senior high school tribs are to Montreal or Quebec city. As half of the class will be 18 and there fore can get boozed up while there.
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  24. #24
    Feeding the Peanut Gallery Senior Member Redleg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Damn, the drinking laws in the USA are strict

    Quote Originally Posted by Taffy_is_a_Taff
    in the U.S. it's harder to buy alcohol if under 21/uncertainty over your age than it is in the U.K.

    What's frustrating is when you're in your mid 20s (like myself), you don't have your ID and they decide that they are not going to sell you alcohol because you don't look like you are 70. Seriously, it seems like half the places you can buy alcohol have a policy of "if you weren't in WW2 then we won't sell you beer without an ID". Then you get paranoid that you look really ancient when you don't get ID-ed at somewhere that has a more lax policy (e.g. the sort of establishment that just wants a correct answer: *to pre-pubescent kid* "How old are you?"
    *Squeaky cracking up voice* "21, sir"
    "just have to be careful about the kids mr customer sir, enjoy your beer").
    I now just get the girlfriend to buy because she looks about 18 and so ALWAYS gets ID-ed at law obsessed places and doesn't get the paranoia that I do if we go to one of the non-ID places.
    Do you know why many places that sell Achocal in the United States take such measures?

    When I was a young man and needed a little extra money - the vice squad for the town I used to live in - paid individuals under the age of 21 to go and attempt to buy from places that sold achocal. If they sold you achocal - you take it to the police officer who was just outside - and they go in an ticket that establishment. If the establishment gets enough tickets - the city government removes their liquor license. No license - no business for many of them.

    Hell I felt like such the hypocrit even then - but hell I needed to get myself some extra beer drinking money.
    Last edited by Redleg; 08-08-2005 at 17:15.
    O well, seems like 'some' people decide to ruin a perfectly valid threat. Nice going guys... doc bean

  25. #25

    Default Re: Damn, the drinking laws in the USA are strict

    Ian, I used to use fake IDs.
    None of this fancy crap either: we'd make them up on the computer, laminate them and use them. they were awful, absolutely terrible and unbelievable but they worked so well.
    Give it a shot, make an ID as a managing director of some big company or other. If you get caught it's hilarious as you can always make a sharp exit.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Damn, the drinking laws in the USA are strict

    redleg: that's officially how things are meant to work in the U.K. as well.


    Oh, you narc you.

    Did you ever use fake IDs? I've worked in a fair few bars and some people are just so frustrating with their IDs: they look real, they look like proper proof of age cards but the customers just don't look old enough.
    I sold them booze as I figured the cards were a valid excuse if we got caught selling to underagers.
    Last edited by Taffy_is_a_Taff; 08-08-2005 at 17:20.

  27. #27
    Member Senior Member Proletariat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Damn, the drinking laws in the USA are strict

    Quote Originally Posted by Taffy_is_a_Taff
    What's frustrating is when you're in your mid 20s (like myself), you don't have your ID and they decide that they are not going to sell you alcohol because you don't look like you are 70.
    They can be real jackasses over here about this. The other day I went to buy some grocerys and also some beer. I had my friend's brother drive me since I was a little tipsy. The cashier asked him for his ID too, and since he was only 20, they said they couldn't sell it to either of me. After a few icy death stares cashier-wards, I dropped the rest of the groceries off in the car and asked my driver friend to just wait in the car.

    I went back into the store, brought the beer to another register, and had almost checked out when some manager I had never seen before said they couldn't sell me the alcohol for 24 hours. I tried using my org-honed debate tactics with him ("What? Are you f*cking kidding me? This is a joke, right?") to no avail.



    I'd like to not shop there again after this, but they're the only store around here that sells Duvel. *sigh*

  28. #28

    Default Re: Damn, the drinking laws in the USA are strict

    Prole: back home you can always pay junkies to steal it for you.

  29. #29
    Not affiliated with Red Dwarf. Member Ianofsmeg16's Avatar
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    Default Re: Damn, the drinking laws in the USA are strict

    Quote Originally Posted by Taffy_is_a_Taff
    Ian, I used to use fake IDs.
    None of this fancy crap either: we'd make them up on the computer, laminate them and use them. they were awful, absolutely terrible and unbelievable but they worked so well.
    Give it a shot, make an ID as a managing director of some big company or other. If you get caught it's hilarious as you can always make a sharp exit.
    Well i did always find the Welsh as a bunch of Troublemakers, i mean i only have to take a look at my brother!!! (joke)
    Fake ID's are cool but it works better having a brother who has an awesome girlfriend that happens to be 18 she hot aswell, i'm gonna have to get her drunk one night Also ID's are too much trouble for somebody as lazy and un-photogenic as myself
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    Alienated Senior Member Member Red Harvest's Avatar
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    Default Re: Damn, the drinking laws in the USA are strict

    The U.S. alcohol laws are absurd in many ways. The ultimate folly was Prohibition of course... The "21" restriction essentially criminalizes an activity that the majority partake in. I can't find any good logic for encouraging folks to disregard a law by making it impractical. As has been noted, it has standardized to 21 by use of Federal Highway money as an incentive. The states can set their own limits, but they lose access to certain Federal funds if they do. I'm for tough drinking and driving laws, but not for the artificially high drinking age.

    What are really funny are state, county, city, and even specific city precinct restrictions on alcohol sales. There is 3.2 beer, sales only by restaurants, sales only by "club memberships", no sales on Sunday, dry counties that really are not, state run liquor stores, and liquor stores being force to close very early (9 PM for example) while you can still go buy booze at the grocery store or filling station.

    And even more interesting is working in producing and selling denatured alcohol to industry...lots or rules for that. Some states still have their own separate industrial alcohol regulating authority, such as Virginia (motto: "let's add an extra level of extraneous regulation to show the Feds they have nothing on us.") So you get to duplicate the headache of shipping permits and such for both a state and the feds.

    Fortunately, the restrictions/prohibitions on home brewing were eased some decades ago. So now it is possible to brew superior beer at home.
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