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Should we raise the alcohol drinking age?
Written by Les Fawkes   
Sunday, 20 December 2009
The ability to drink alcohol has been a right of passage for many Australians and it is like a ritual to take that first legal drink. Presently, the legal age is 18 years.   Up until the mid 1970ís the legal drinking age was 21 years.

Of recent times alcohol fueled violence and the number of serious traffic accidents involving youth have skyrocketed out of control in many parts of Queensland.

The Australian Medical Association Queensland president Dr Mason Stevenson said,  ďAT least 100 lives a year could be saved if Australia raised the legal drinking age to 21."   Damage to teenage bodies that are still in the growing stage is caused by small amounts of alcohol.

Irrespective of the drinking age there will be a group of people who will continue to drink whilst underage.   Whilst the legal drinking age is 18 years there will be those from earlier age starting at an earlier age and being unchallenged thus the age is in fact reduced by another 2 or 3 years.   The same goes when the legal drinking age is 21 years but at least it is 3 years further along the road of life.

We cannot rely on education programs to reduce the dangers of consuming too much alcohol.   Multi-million dollar binge-drinking education campaigns by both state and federal governments have not worked.   Parental attitudes in the home are the key to this serious problem but for some people, in the interest of their children  those attitudes have to re-shaped.

The spiraling cost, not only fiscal to our youth, both male and female continues to rise in real human terms.

As a nation we cannot continue to bear the spiraling human cost.

As a result is there a valid reason to once again raise the legal alcohol drinking age in an effort to reduce violence and other medical problems?



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