Sat Mar 24, 2001 10:08 am

We all know that the US the do not look fondly on alcohol, when D.A.R.E came around in 6th grade I was shocked that they included alcohol in the same catergory as illegal drugs. In Europe and other parts of the world you start drinking when you are young. I remember at my boarding school in the UK, when we used to have a house supper, the teachers would pour all students a small glass of wine and we where 8-13 year olds. When I came to University over here our accounting teacher gave us an assignment on the first day, however it was not so bad as the person who handed in the best paper got a bottle of bubbly! Now that is a way to enthuse students!
My parents being British had a very different philosophy then most US parents when it came to drinking. My parents told me drinking is fine but there is a time and a place, if you have to drive home or have something to do the next day it is not the time! But when I went to parties over in the US, my parents where fine about me drinking aslong as I either walked home, or got a taxi (which they would pay for). Now back in England my parents are as cool as ever. It was the last day of term today, and my dad called me as they are coming over tomorrow, I told him he was very lucky to catch me as I was just off to the pub, when we where saying good bye, his last comment was don't drink so much you forget us tommorrow (I am going to LHR to meet them), which i highly doubt the majority of the US parents would say.
Do you think if the US was more relaxed about drinking there would be less DUI's and drunk driving accidents. I know most of my friends work around their parents to when drinking which seems the worst way to educate your child about alcohol.
Any one care to comment?

RE: Drinking...

Sat Mar 24, 2001 10:53 am

If you want a break from all of the US's drinking regulations, go to any college campus.
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RE: Drinking...

Sat Mar 24, 2001 10:55 am

It's probably becuase people in Europe are more responsible about their drinking.

In the US it is considered taboo, so people do it in Private, and in excess. My expirience in Europe is that teenagers look upon it as just another form of life. In the US, it is consdiered to be very bad if you drink and you are young. But, in Europe more youngsters drink and their parents do know about it. There are also not as many drunk driving accidents in europe because, fankly, most European teenagers don't drive. In the US it's a bigger problem because since 16 year olds can drive, and a lot of them drink, without the knowledge of their parents or the maturity to know that they can't drive and drink there's a problem.

My parents let me drink, although I think the stuff tastes like ass (except for the occassional wine.) Most teenagers that I know do it because it's the only thing to do. I mean, i'm sitting at home one Friday night because my other choices are to go out drinking or go to the coffee house,, neither of which are great. And, most people find it as a "solution" to their "endless" problems.

Just my take on it.

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RE: Drinking...

Sat Mar 24, 2001 2:04 pm

Of course, since people don't make a big deal out of it in Europe, it's not a big problem. Plus, Europe has good public transportation.
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RE: Drinking...

Sat Mar 24, 2001 2:47 pm

I've always felt that America's regulations are absurd in regards to alcohol consumption. However, it is too late to correct it. When the US lowered the age (not nationally. FYI: Drinking ages are controlled by the states, however the national government controls is by witholding federal road funds if a state deviates from the "set" 21 years), kids who had planned on having to wait another three years, suddenly were able to drink...and they went nuts, and totally abused the new priviledge. As a result DUIs and alcohol related driving deaths went through the roof. Just a few scant years after the age was lowered, it was forced back up to 21.

The sad state of it all is that American's can't handle the responsability of drinking. Like many other things that don't necessarily have a purpose in this country today, our very tight-ass views on alcohol date back almost 400 years, when the Puritan's brought over their very conservative views. Today, we reap the "benefits"

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RE: Drinking...

Sat Mar 24, 2001 3:35 pm

The forbidden fruit is the most tempting of all. In the US for people under 21, alchohol is a forbidden fruit, so whenever people get access to it, they drink it in excess.

My family is French, and at special meals I have a small glass of wine. I still don't like it much, but it goes well with bread and some good brie cheese. Because I have had a little exposure to alchohol, I don't think that I'll ever really drink it in excess.

My friend is a different story however. His parents never let him have any alchohol whatsoever, not even a sip of wine or beer. When his parents are out, he raids the liqour cabinet and usually gets drunk.
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RE: Drinking...

Sat Mar 24, 2001 5:28 pm

LH423 is correct the national drinking age is 18. The age 21 drinking rule is another case of federal extortion.

Funny story about the drinking age.

When I went into the service when I was 18 I was sent to Germany where I could drink. I came back the U.S. Four days before my 21st birthday. I was a good boy and did not partake of the fruit of the barley for those four days.....boy where those four long days....

The good part about German bier is that it ruined me on the stuff on this side of the pond. I can't stand it. The situation is a little better now that microbrews are so popular but we still don't have a decent hefe wiesen here.

I am still undecided on the age 21 rule but I do feel that if you are mature enough to take a bullet then you should be able to drink a beer. The state rules covers the military clubs on bases too. That is the part that I am really against too.
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RE: Drinking...

Sat Mar 24, 2001 6:42 pm

Actually, I disagree.

Having grown up for most of my life in Bavaria, Germany, I must say I found the ease of getting alcohol for children very worrying. Every single school party would include at least one ambulance being called because of some kids drinking themselves unconscious. You would regularly encounter blind-drunk 13-year-olds around the school. To be honest, the lack of rules is not at all acceptable in my eyes. While a total taboo is stupid, letting lose children on alcohol and cigarettes is just as stupid. (Did I mention the chain-smoking twelve year olds in my school?)

So it comes down to responsible parents teaching their kids responsibility with alcohol, cigarettes and everything else. Absolute taboo is stupid, absolute freedom is just as damaging.

Anyway, that's just my opinion.



RE: Drinking...

Sat Mar 24, 2001 9:07 pm

i'm in the Uk, and I've got a mate who's parents live over in the states. We go out on the piss probably 2 or 3 times a week, and he said if his parents knew about this, they'd go ape! Whereas all the rest of us, our parents actively encourage it!
Mind you, this morning I wish the drinking age was about 25 here, cos them I wouldn't have this sodding headache!! AND I'm going out tonight as well!! HELP!!!

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