Letter to the Editor

BY DI READERS | JANUARY 21, 2010 7:30 AM

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Education, lower drinking age needed

I read your well-written editorial on drinking (“The comprehensive solutions to solving the drinking problem,” Dec. 7) with much interest. As a parent with a senior at the UI and two children at another university, we have discussed this topic at length. In fact, while visiting the Iowa City campus, my 18-year-old was assaulted — blindsided actually — while he was walking to meet his brother after work. The crime-stopper reward is yet unclaimed. As an aside, I must commend the Iowa City police in their handling of this incident.

But even after this experience, my family have not changed their views on alcohol consumption. The drinking age should be lowered to 19. The reality is that these kids are all drinking regardless of the 21-age limit. And it is not just in Iowa. The important component needed to change the behavior discussed in the editorial is education. And education starts in the home. I believe these young adults need to learn to drink responsibly. The editorial hit the nail on the head. The kids drink before they go out because of feared repercussions of getting caught. If they could go out and have a social drink, I believe the rate of binge drinking would decrease. Talk to the young adults. Listen to what they have to say. I have.

Education is key. Look at the success of educating people about the dangers of drinking and driving. These young adults are much more responsible than we were at that age about having a designated driver. So they are getting the message. Finding a safe solution that works for all is key. For facts and statistics, <ahref=”http://www.chooseresponsibility.org”>Choose Responsibility</a> is an organization working toward a safe resolution of this problem.

Young adults need our guidance, but they also need to be responsible for their actions. In order to solve the problem with alcohol overconsumption and binge drinking, we need to work with these young adults. There are many solutions, some of which you mentioned in your editorial. But without support from young adults, our effort will go for naught.

Carolyn Palash
Winfield, Ill., resident

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