Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Should Ontario’s Legal Drinking Age Be Lowered?

Drinking Age

Some argue 18 is still too young to responsibly enjoy alcohol, while others feel it’s insulting to young adults.

Ontario’s legal drinking age is currently at 19-years-old. That puts the province’s legal drinkers one year older than its neighbours to the east and west (Quebec and Manitoba), but two years younger than their neighbours to the south (Michigan).

As the age floats in the middle, it is always a topic for heated discussion. Some argue 18 is still too young to responsibly enjoy alcohol, while others feel it’s insulting to young adults.
The topic was up for debate, as young authors Jaclyn Lytle (University of Ottawa) and Graham Briggs (University of Victoria) argued the issue in an article called, “Point/counterpoint: Should legal drinking ages be altered?”

“Beer, booze, liquor, spirits: Call it what you will — alcohol is one substance that is easily enjoyed, but even more effortlessly abused,” said Lytle.

“Blackouts, injury, alcohol poisoning, unprotected sex, increased instances of violence and impaired driving are all known and common consequences of binge drinking, a habit underage drinkers partake in far more often than their of-age counterparts according to the American National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and Health Canada.”

On the other side of the bar, Briggs said 18-year-olds are already deemed old and responsible enough to be accorded full democratic rights.

“Eighteen-year-olds can also join the military. They can be trained to fight and kill in the name of their country. They can be sent to war. In the eyes of the military and the state that commands, 18-year-olds are adults.”

Schools mentioned: University of Ottawa, University of Victoria

Ryan Leclaire
Author: Ryan Leclaire
Ryan has been writing for 7 years and has been featured in Chatelaine, Canadian Living and Cottage life.
Post a comment
  1. Jrobert Says:

    you say ‘“Blackouts, injury, alcohol poisoning, unprotected sex, increased instances of violence and impaired driving are all known and common consequences of binge drinking, a habit underage drinkers partake in far more often than their of-age counterparts according to the American National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and Health Canada.”’ but whats the difference if they buy it illegally, or if they travel to quebec or manitoba..the point is if they are most likely already doing it, couldnt ontario be making lots more money off the taxes 

  2. Mark Says:

    The drinking age of 19 is also unfair to 18 year olds who may not be interested in drinking but want to see live music in venues that card. Why should those adults be restricted? Once you become an adult, you should have full rights and privileges. Drinking alcohol is no different.


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