Sunday, June 4, 2017

Teen Drinking Drops in Germany Despite Low Drinking Age

The pro-21 crowd often likes to claim that the recent and secular trends towards less drinking among young people in the USA was largely a result of raising the drinking age to 21 and tightening up its enforcement. But the drinking age hike was at most a minor contributor to such trends, since similar trends can also be seen in several other countries that did NOT raise the drinking age to 21.

One such notable example of this is Germany, whose drinking age is 16 for beer and wine, and 18 for distilled spirits.  In fact, one can even drink at 14 in public when accompanied by a parent or guardian, and there is no age limit for drinking in private residences.   Such laws have essentially been in effect for as long as anyone can remember (with the notable exception of the Nazi era), so what were the results of maintaining them in recent decades?  From 1979 to 2016, the percentage of 12-17 year old Germans who drink at least weekly dropped from 25.4% to 10.0%, a relative drop of more than 60%.  For 18-25 year olds, the percentage dropped by nearly half during the same timeframe, and from 1973-2016 dropped from from two out of three (67.1%) to less than one out of three (30.7%).  These trends are comparable to if not faster than the corresponding figures for American youth.

In other words, consider this the final nail in the coffin for the specious claim that the 21 drinking age had anything more than a minor impact on overall teen or young adult drinking.

1 comment:

  1. The pro 21 crowd is a tolitatrian crowd. This lot of people don't care about the well being of young people. What they care is that young adults be denied their civil rights, as in keeping young people as less than adults. The pro 21 crowd supports the drinking age of 21 solely because it is an oppressive law and for no other reason. Pure ageism is the real reason why the oppressive drinking age of 21 has popularity in this supposed land of the free.

    Germany shows that a drinking age of 18 with allowances for girls and boys is effective and responsible. The difference between Germany and the U.S. is that there's no ageism in Germany while in the U.S., not being an ageist can labelled bizzare. Ageism is this country's official and celebrated form of discrimination. Talk about unfortunte.