Because of the drinking age, people who attend underage drinking parties are sometimes afraid to report any emergencies. In some cases, this results in death. What do you call this? Is it a tragic accident? Is it his/her own fault for overdosing?
The real question is this. What do you call it when someone needs medical attention and someone else stops them from receiving it? Imagine that someone has an asthma attack and dies because someone else stole his/her inhaler, or that someone gets bit by a snake and dies because someone else stole his/her anti-venom. Most people would call that murder. Now, let’s go back to the original scenario. Someone has too much to drink and dies because the government, by enforcing the drinking age, stole his/her access to medical attention. The scenario is no different. Every time someone dies because the drinking age stopped an emergency from being reported, the government gets away with murder, or at the very least, gross manslaughter.
Normally, murder requires some form of premeditation. Are these murders premeditated? Are supporters of the drinking age aware of these murders? Arguments against prohibition have been around since the passing of the 18th Amendment, which was over 90 years ago. They may have even been around before then. The most common argument was the one about unreported emergencies. Prohibitionists have always been well aware of the deaths caused by unreported emergencies because of prohibition. They just selfishly ignored those arguments to maintain their power. They even added insult to injury by adding those deaths to their statistics. So, the answer to that question is yes. The deaths are premeditated. There’s no possible way that they can be considered accidents.
Good Samaritan policies, which allow partygoers to report emergencies without fear of arrest, are an attempt to stop these murders. However, they still aren’t 100% guaranteed. Even in places that have Good Samaritan policies, most people don’t know about them, which makes them useless. If they do know about them, they are still not 100% effective, because many people are afraid to admit to illegal activity even if they won’t face any penalties. The only guaranteed way to stop these murders is to repeal the drinking age.
Also, the vast majority of supporters of Good Samaritan policies are opponents of prohibition. Supporters of prohibition only go along with the Good Samaritan policies because, although they are okay with innocent people dying, they can’t be too open about it.
But what about the deaths caused by youths drinking if the drinking age is repealed? Why aren’t the opponents of the drinking age to blame? It’s simple. If there is no drinking age and someone overdoses, he/she freely chose to drink that much. Since he/she is better educated about harm reduction, it is the fault of that person’s own stupidity. If someone drives drunk and kills someone, he/she goes to jail, meaning that he/she does not get away with it. Either way, no one gets away with endangering the lives of others. The same cannot be said about the deaths caused by the prohibition.
I’ve recently come around to agree with your position, but even so I have to call this post out for what it is: pure, unadulterated *bullshit*. The claim that deaths from alcohol poisoning are “murder” by the government because they “stole” the person’s access to healthcare by making drinking illegal would be outrageous if it weren’t so laughable. Not only will anyone of any age be treated at a hospital for alcohol poisoning, no matter how underage they are, they also almost certainly won’t be arrested for it.
This post basically takes the same line of reasoning as an argument for abolishing speed limits that says it’s not my fault for dying in a crash when I was driving 120 m.p.h. on the highway, but that in fact the government “murdered” me, by making speeding illegal. By this line of reasoning, by trying to *prevent* people from doing something dangerous — speeding, or underage drinking — by making it illegal, it becomes the government’s fault when someone does it and dies. That makes no sense at all.
Not to mention that the number of people that die this way is orders of magnitude less than the number of fewer deaths from drunk driving after the drinking age was raised.
I think that if someone were to challenge the constitutionality of any drinking age, it would be unconstitutional under the 5th and 14th amendments guarenteeing due process and equal protection rights. I’m not going to write must about it but I will say that the primary cases refered to here is In Re Gault(1967) by the US Supreme Court ruling the bill of rights and constitution cannot be abridged based on age, young and old. The constitution does not say that it only applies to adults over a certain age with the exception of voting. The voting age in most of America was 21 and lowered to 18 in 1971. The only exception the 14th amendment is voting. When the 14th amendment was ratified in 1868 it stated that voting cannot be abridged as long as you were male and 21 years of age or older. The 15th amendment prohibited voting discrimination based on race. The 19th amendment in 1920 granted women the right to vote. 26th amendment lowering the voting age to 18 was ratified quickly. I think that some state legislators will lower or abolish the drinking age and other status offenses if we use powerful protests which are non-violent and I’ve heard about a former state legislator from New Hampshire named Tom Alciere who has very compelling arguments against any drinking age and against the War on Drugs. In fact, I will write a report explaining why the drinking age, drug prohibition, and other status offenses are unconstitutional.