“Choose Responsibility” to Reduce Underage Alcohol Abuse

What is Choose Responsibility?

Choose Responsibility is a nonprofit organization. It promotes public awareness of the dangers of  reckless alcohol consumption by adults age 18-20. It does this through a program of research, publication, education, and related activities.

The organization seeks to stimulate informed public discussion about alcohol in American culture.  It promotes policies that enable young adults age 18 to 20 to make mature decisions about alcohol.

Its supporters argue that alcohol is a reality in the lives of young Americans. That’s a simple fact. We can’t deny, ignore, or legislated it away.

For this reason, Choose Responsibility supports a series of changes. They would  treat 18, 19 and 20 year-olds as the adults the law otherwise says they are. It believes that current drinking laws infantilize young adults and promote immature behaviors.

The organization supports a series of changes designed to allow young adults to consume alcoholic beverages.

Choose Responsibility

Dr. John M. McCardell

The Proposal

Choose Responsibility proposes combining education, certification, and provisional licensing for 18-20 year-old high school graduates who choose to consume alcohol.

It proposes a comprehensive program that combines incentives and rewards for responsible, lawful behavior by adolescents. On the other hand, the policy applies punitive measures for illegal or irresponsible behavior.

Learn more at Drinking Learner Permits for Adults Under Age 21.

The founder of the organization is Dr. John M. McCardell, Jr., President emeritus of Middlebury College.

For more information, visit Choose Responsibility.

The Amethyst Initiative

Dr. McCaradell also established the Amethyst Initiative. It’s a group of college and university presidents across the U.S. They encourage public discussion about the unintended consequences of current alcohol policies. This includes the minimum legal drinking age of 21. Amethyst Initiative presidents invite new ideas on how best to prepare young adults to make responsible decisions about alcohol.

These ideas might include the following.

• Issuing drinking learner permits to qualified adults aged 18 to 20. They would be similar to driving learner permits.
• Permitting adults serving in the armed forces to consume alcoholic beverages under certain conditions.
• Permitting states to develop their own programs to reduce alcohol abuse. And to do so without reducing their federal highway funding.
• Lowering the drinking age to 18, 19 or 20.
• Ideas not yet suggested.
• Some combination of the above.

By thinking creatively and developing wise policies, we can greatly reduce yuuthful alcohol abuse.