"In short, based upon research, the current drinking laws are counterproductive. This is why I recommend lowering the drinking age in controlled environments such as restaurants and campus pubs or anytime with parents, in addition, to not allowing young adults to buy alcohol in retail stores to take home to get drink as that is not responsible drinking behavior," said Ruth Engs, profesor emeritus in Applied Health Science at Indiana University.
John McCardell, the former president of Middlebury College in Vermont, also supports states that are trying to lower their drinking age. McCardell founded Choose Responsibility, an advocacy group that is opposed to age 21 being the legal drinking age.
"We need to support public policies that reflect reality, not our illusion of what reality is," said McCardell about proposed legislation. "We can either try to change the reality -- that is called Prohibition, which has historically failed -- or we can create the safest possible environment for the reality. Legal age 21 creates the least safe, most life-threatening environment, and thus it neither reflects nor represents reality."
McCardell argues that the current drinking age negatively affects youth behavior, and aids in binge drinking.
"Binge drinking, however you may define it, is not behavior that takes place in public. The law has banished alcohol consumption from public places and public view. The only place binge drinking can occur, then, is where the law has banished it, in clandestine locations," said McCardell. "How can one argue that the drinking age is not responsible for this?"