The legal drinking age for different countries varies dramatically, from 0 to 21, as seen in the table below. The United States has the highest drinking age in the world.
Dr. Ruth Clifford Engs of Indiana University, an internationally-known health educator and alcohol researcher, believes that the minimum drinking age of 21 in the US is too high.
Dr. David J. Hanson of the State University of New York at Potsdam evaluates research regarding the effectiveness of age 21 minimum age legislation.
The world's leading anthropologist of drinking, Dr. Dwight B. Heath of Brown University, recommends: Teach Safe Drinking to Your College Bound Teen.
Sociologist Dr. David J. Hanson explains why It's Better to Teach Safe Use of Alcohol.
Educational leader Dr. Roderic B. Park proposes that we create Drinking "Learner Permits" for Under-Age Persons.
The problem of identifying the optimum drinking age to reduce alcohol abuse is likely to continue. It involves issues of freedom, responsibility, parental rights, religion, politics and many other realms of life. And it is a very important problem so let the discussion begin.
* with exceptions
The US is placed in parentheses because, while it is commonly believed that the minimum drinking age is 21, people can legally drink below that age under many different circumstances.
The National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 required all states to raise their minimum purchase and public possession of alcohol age to 21. States that did not comply faced a reduction in highway funds under the Federal Highway Aid Act.... It does not prohibit persons under 21 (also called youth or minors) from drinking. The term "public possession" is strictly defined and does not apply to possession for the following:
An established religious purpose, when accompanied by a parent, spouse or legal guardian age 21 or older
Medical purposes when prescribed or administered by a licensed physician,...