A Modest Proposal

Photo by Mauru00edcio Mascaro on Pexels.com

There’s a simple way to stop the violence and other alcohol related problems at bars in T-Town.

Raise the legal drinking age.

In 2017 Erin Brodwin and Skye Gould reported in The Business Insider that “the brain doesn’t fully mature until age 25.”

They wrote:

Some scientists say this could illuminate a potential factor behind a recent spate of acts of mass violence, almost all of which have been perpetrated by men between the ages of 20 and 30.

“The preponderance of young men engaging in these deadly, evil, and stupid acts of violence may be a result of brains that have yet to fully developed,” Howard Forman, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, told my colleague Chris Weller.

Detecting fake IDs, if the user is as old as 25, shouldn’t be as big a problem as the situation that now exists.

Footprints To Recovery‘s “Raising the Drinking Age to 25: What are the Pros and Cons” lists “Raises the Thrill of Underage Drinking” as one of the “cons”:

Critics of raising the drinking age argue that this change will just extend that “thrill” of asserting your independence against authority for a longer period given that we know that the brain continues developing well into the 20s.

One of “pros” listed in the article was “Protects Brain Development”:

Much research has shown the damaging effects of alcohol on brain development in teens and young adults. The brain is still undergoing crucial developments until age 25, and some scientists have found evidence that it keeps developing until as late as age 30.

Drinking by students at the University of Alabama was the subject of a post “The Greek God Pan at the U of A” by the Franklin Stove Blog (FSB) on April 21, 2022. The centrality of alcohol consumption in the University’s social life is not atypical:

Drinking during the pandemic may have led to more deaths than Covid-19. At colleges throughout the nation, in spite of any of the pandemic’s restrictions on “normal” college life, drinking remained a fixture of college living.

A post by FSB in 2022 “Booze & the Student Brain” concerned early life binge drinking.

Girl on The Strip

An actual image taken outside a gastropub on The Strip of police handling a violent, obviously intoxicated student accompanied the 2020 FSB post “Saturday Nights in T-Town.”

Drunken bar patron being restrained on The Strip

A 2022 FSB post “T-Town’s got litigation!” covered the lawsuits where alcohol use has been a factor.

A 2020 FSB post “Shot dead on The Strip” dealt with the tragic death of an out of town student. A wrongful death lawsuit has since been filed against the person who shot him and the bar that continued to “sell alcohol to the shooter even though he was visibly intoxicated.”

Perhaps the recent case of a homocide that involved University of Alabama basketball players has most thoroughly captured the public’s attention. A FSB post “T-Town’s University Blvd–a Danger Zone?” dealt with fatal shootings in T-Town, including the one that resulted from a “minor argument” that occurred between the victims and suspects, where athletes were involved.

Murders that occurred in South Carolina unearthed a story of under age drinking and death. Several television series have been produced about the tragedy in The Palmetto State, including one on Netflix, “Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal.” The first episode provides a great amount of detail about the under age drinking that precipitated the boat death of a young lady. It also gives a look into the thought process of adolescents who are in toxic relationships.

The idea that the legal drinking age might be raised is a non-starter of course. There’s just too much money involved. Too much that the operators of bars take in. Too much that grocery stores and gas stations make from alcohol sales. Too much revenue that the city derives from alcohol sales. Much of the alcohol is consumed by under age drinkers. The whole Greek way of life that the University of Alabama is so proud of would be threatened.

So don’t expect much change even though T-Town‘s police department and the University’s have created a special police precinct on The Strip, as reported by ABC 33/42 News. As long as booze is sold to minors there will be blood.


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