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Age to start using alcohol


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Report this Feb. 16 2010, 2:12 am

Quote (IVHoltzman @ Feb. 16 2010, 3:05 pm)
True, but the above episode happened in the US where, even three decades ago, my little cousin was legally prohibited from drinking alcohol. Was her mother knowingly trying to get her daughter drunk? Of course not. Ought she to have turned herself in to the authorities even though it was an accident? By the letter of the law, yes. But let's be real, shall we? The vast majority of mothers, in every corner of this world, and in every one of the past three hundred thousand generations, have been much better guardians of their children's safety than any government could ever hope to be. That my little cousin was given two swigs of beer on one accidental occasion at age 2 did no harm to her (in fact, three decades on, she's since earned a master's degree and is starting a family of her own). What would have harmed my cousin would have been active encouragement to adopt a binging habit from an early age, and that she most certainly did not receive. But a law which expresses a numeral rather than a notion is an ill fit that fails of its purpose... which is why it's so roundly ignored. I was drinking beer responsibly for five years before the law officially permitted me to do so. By the time I arrived at university, I long since knew how to control myself at parties. My fellow students whose families had followed the letter of the law were at far greater risk than I of becoming lost in this new freedom they'd finally acquired. For me, it was no big thing. Surely that's healthier for the individual. And better for society.

Well, you and your cousin got lucky then.

I'm no saint, I think I had my first full bottle of beer when I was 14. Drinking laws are rarely enforced where I live. Though I have been known to act crazy when drunk, never violent though. Now I'm 41, I rarely drink.

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