Letters to the Editor – Drinking Debate

Brian Rooney '74

Lost in much of the reporting about lowering the drinking age is the memory that we have been here before in recent history. During the Vietnam War, people my age successfully argued “old enough to fight, old enough to drink,” and most states dropped the age to as low as 18. But it turned out not to be true. The road carnage that followed the lowering of the drinking age is what led to Mothers Against Drunk Driving and raising the age to 21.

The college presidents who have revived that old argument about “old enough to fight” are either too young to know, or they have forgotten their own history.

When I was at Colgate, a beer was 25 cents and a whiskey sour was 50 cents at the Colgate Inn. I’d tell you more about it but because I was there, I can’t remember it all. I’m still glad the drinking age was 18 when I was in school, but drinking to excess seems to be a product of age, not the law. If college students are drinking too much, lowering the age may allow them to drink legally, but it won’t make them drink sensibly.