Consider This - Drinking Age

By Ted Fortenberry - bio | email

There is growing debate on whether or not South Carolina's legal drinking age should be 18 instead of 21 after two magistrate judges challenged the constitutionality of the state's law.

Consider This: The last thing we need to do is lower the drinking age in South Carolina. If there is an issue with the Constitution that possibly allows this lower age for consumption then the state legislature needs to fix it as soon as they return to session early next year.

Supporters who favor allowing younger citizens to consume alcohol use several reasons why they feel the lower age is justified. If you are 18 you can vote, you can serve in the military and with a higher drinking age it encourages those under 21 to binge drink since they have to drink secretly. However, even though the suggestions have merit, the benefit of having a higher drinking age outweighs the rationale for a lower age.

I lived through the days when you could legally possess alcohol at age 18, and guess what? Back then it was common for kids 15, or even younger, to drink. If you lower the legal age for possession you are also lowering the age of the group who will illegally gain access to alcohol via their friends in the younger category.

The legal age to possess and consume alcohol should be 21. The state legislature needs to ensure our State Constitution reflects that.

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