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Yachtzee
09-28-2007, 11:48 PM
With parental supervision of course:

http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/09/27/kid.drinking/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

This is the way my family handled it with us as kids. Social drinking with the family was always acceptable so that drinking alcohol wasn't a big deal for us when we went away to college.

KittyDuran
09-29-2007, 08:14 AM
With parental supervision of course:

http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/09/27/kid.drinking/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

This is the way my family handled it with us as kids. Social drinking with the family was always acceptable so that drinking alcohol wasn't a big deal for us when we went away to college.As with a lot of things socially, it depends on the family and the kid and if the family has more than 1 kid, there will be different ways on how alcohol and it's consumpion is viewed. In my family we even breakdown the sides by alcohol - Mom's family are beer drinkers and Dad's family likes the hard liquor. My Mom liked rum and coke and would let me have a sip when I was little. During the holidays we would given a very small glass of Mogan David wine to drink. As a teenager during family functions you could drink pretty much anything but it had to be with the family around - no secretive drinking.

One of my uncles had a great take on drinking - he said you need to get wasted, then how you feel when you wake up the next morning will determine how you view drinking. And he was right with me. Got wasted for the first time when I was 16 in SE KY - went with my older cousin and my younger sister to a house party. But before that we ate pizza, then went across the county line (Leslie County was/is dry) to get beer and wine. I had 2 and a half beers and a half of glass of wine before the night was over. We returned to my cousin's house and my little sis (who was almost 13) passed out on the couch. Me and my cousin went to my uncle's "poutin' house" which was just a shed with a queen bed to go to sleep. But before I passed out I puked my guts in the lawn. The next morning I had an incredible hangover but my little sis was not so bad. Now I'll have a drink once in a while - on the other hand my little sis could drink most under the table... :p:

Drinking was not encouraged but it was excepted in my family - I always felt (and still do) as an outsider at family functions. But at least I'm wanted... as a designated driver! :beerme:;)

cumberlandreds
09-29-2007, 08:49 AM
As with a lot of things socially, it depends on the family and the kid and if the family has more than 1 kid, there will be different ways on how alcohol and it's consumpion is viewed. In my family we even breakdown the sides by alcohol - Mom's family are beer drinkers and Dad's family likes the hard liquor. My Mom liked rum and coke and would let me have a sip when I was little. During the holidays we would given a very small glass of Mogan David wine to drink. As a teenager during family functions you could drink pretty much anything but it had to be with the family around - no secretive drinking.

One of my uncles had a great take on drinking - he said you need to get wasted, then how you feel when you wake up the next morning will determine how you view drinking. And he was right with me. Got wasted for the first time when I was 16 in SE KY - went with my older cousin and my younger sister to a house party. But before that we ate pizza, then went across the county line (Leslie County was/is dry) to get beer and wine. I had 2 and a half beers and a half of glass of wine before the night was over. We returned to my cousin's house and my little sis (who was almost 13) passed out on the couch. Me and my cousin went to my uncle's "poutin' house" which was just a shed with a queen bed to go to sleep. But before I passed out I puked my guts in the lawn. The next morning I had an incredible hangover but my little sis was not so bad. Now I'll have a drink once in a while - on the other hand my little sis could drink most under the table... :p:

Drinking was not encouraged but it was excepted in my family - I always felt (and still do) as an outsider at family functions. But at least I'm wanted... as a designated driver! :beerme:;)


I would be willing to bet that you went to Cumberland in Harlan County to get your beer and wine. Cumberland used be about the only town in SE KY that was wet. I am orginally from there,hence my username on RZ.

Unassisted
09-29-2007, 10:07 AM
My kid's high school PTA got some grant money a couple of years ago for this issue. They used it to produce a very elaborate video designed to discourage parentally-supervised drinking parties.

I didn't have a strong opinion on that issue before seeing the video, but the video certainly made it clear that this particular school's community is very much opposed to the practice.

MrCinatit
09-29-2007, 11:08 AM
My parents sure didn't encourage my young drinking ways, but I certainly learned.
When I was five, I chugged two of my uncles beers when he had his back turned. I returned the favor by urinating in his shoes.
I literally remember the rest of the night - for the entire night, it felt like my head was wrapped in a hot towel three sizes too small for my head, and that the ceiling was being flown away then bought back down to me every 10 seconds.
To top it off, I guess I was a pretty grumpy little drunk.
I've not had a drink of alcohol or beer since then.

SunDeck
09-29-2007, 12:47 PM
My cousins in Germany think our drinking laws are ridiculous. Their theory (at least my cousin's- can't speak for the guvmint over there) is that by having a more relaxed attitude about alcohol, you make it possible for kids to be introduced responsibly to it. Additionally, it's hella hard to get a driver's license in Germany and I believe the age is even higher.

Anyway, this always comes up when we discuss drunk driving. Inevitably, the conversation ends with a discussion of getting kids to understand and not be so enamored with alcohol before they drive.

Now, as I said, it's a theory. When I was going to school in Hamburg I saw plenty, I mean PLENTY of binge drinking among the kids.

cincinnati chili
09-29-2007, 01:38 PM
I don't believe in supervised drinking parties for minors. I do believe in serving your children moderate amounts of alcohol with dinner and family gatherings. My parents did this and it did take a lot of the mystique out of drinking for me.

Everybody's different though.

RedFanAlways1966
09-29-2007, 02:04 PM
IMO... each set of parents (or parent) should decide what is best for their child in reagrd to alcoholic beverages. The law states that you must be 21 to drink. If a parent allows drinking, then that parent can be arrested.

Binge-drinking? Has happened for many-many years. It is definitely not a good thing. Will there ever be a solution for it that works for all? Nope. So when someone or something tries to tell all that they have the solution, I move on and realize that it will never happen.

If you are old to vote and be in the military, then you should be old enough to have a beer. That, however, is another conversation and perhaps not an acceptable conversation for this forum.

SandyD
09-29-2007, 02:31 PM
Drinking laws vary state to state.

As I understand it, a parent can by an alcoholic beverage for their child in a restaurant. The server cannot actually "serve" the child, but can give the drink to the parent, who would then give the drink to the child. Age doesn't even factor into it.

paintmered
09-29-2007, 02:35 PM
Drinking laws vary state to state.

As I understand it, a parent can by an alcoholic beverage for their child in a restaurant. The server cannot actually "serve" the child, but can give the drink to the parent, who would then give the drink to the child. Age doesn't even factor into it.

As far as I know, there are four instances when underage consumption is legal in Ohio:

1) Alcohol that is served by the parents, as you mentioned.
2) Alcohol that is served by a spouse of legal age to an underage husband/wife.
3) Religious purposes such as communion
4) Doctors orders, such as treatment for a kidney stone

SandyD
09-29-2007, 02:59 PM
http://www.alcoholpolicy.niaaa.nih.gov/stateprofiles/StateProfie.asp

this site shows state by state how the laws vary

Louisiana and some other states has a "private residence" exemption for consumption and possession, but not for furnishing.

GAC
09-29-2007, 03:37 PM
I would like to see more details on this so-called study that suggests allowing your kids to drink, even small amounts and under supervision, will somehow prevent or dissuade them from binge drinking. There is obviously already plenty of underage alcohol consumption going on in this country. More then enough. Has it helped to steer kids away from binge drinking that currently exists? Could it also help to promote it? And I really get tired of this line of reasoning, especially coming from a psychologist, who state "kids are gonna drink no matter what", so lets set them an example and show them how to do it with responsibility.

They also smoke. We gonna allow them to do that too; but only show them how to do it responsibly?

Young people binge drink probably for two very valid and obvious reasons - immaturity and lack of exposure to, and inexperience with alcohol. But I don't think encouraging or helping your 15-16 child to gain that experience, by allowing them to partake of it under your supervision, is being a responsible parent.

KittyDuran
09-29-2007, 04:48 PM
My kid's high school PTA got some grant money a couple of years ago for this issue. They used it to produce a very elaborate video designed to discourage parentally-supervised drinking parties.

I didn't have a strong opinion on that issue before seeing the video, but the video certainly made it clear that this particular school's community is very much opposed to the practice.Maybe I'm not reading the article correctly, but the girl in the story was not drinking at parent sponsored parties - but at family functions/social events. I'm totally against and so are my parents of these "parties".:thumbdown

KittyDuran
09-29-2007, 04:49 PM
I would be willing to bet that you went to Cumberland in Harlan County to get your beer and wine. Cumberland used be about the only town in SE KY that was wet. I am orginally from there,hence my username on RZ.Nope... just across the line into Perry County (Hazard-county seat). :) (I don't know if Perry County is still wet today).

KittyDuran
09-29-2007, 04:51 PM
I would like to see more details on this so-called study that suggests allowing your kids to drink, even small amounts and under supervision, will somehow prevent or dissuade them from binge drinking. There is obviously already plenty of underage alcohol consumption going on in this country. More then enough. Has it helped to steer kids away from binge drinking that currently exists? Could it also help to promote it? And I really get tired of this line of reasoning, especially coming from a psychologist, who state "kids are gonna drink no matter what", so lets set them an example and show them how to do it with responsibility.

They also smoke. We gonna allow them to do that too; but only show them how to do it responsibly?

Young people binge drink probably for two very valid and obvious reasons - immaturity and lack of exposure to, and inexperience with alcohol. But I don't think encouraging or helping your 15-16 child to gain that experience, by allowing them to partake of it under your supervision, is being a responsible parent.Watch it GAC... are you calling my parents irresponsible??? ;)

vaticanplum
09-29-2007, 04:56 PM
We were allowed to drink underage and I'd hardly consider my family irresponsible.

My family is pretty steeped in Italian culture, it's beyond their comprehension not to allow their teenage children to have a glass of wine with a big Italian meal that (in my family's mind) is meant to be enjoyed from a culinary and familial standpoint with a glass of wine. The law permits them to do this. It was still made quite clear to us that drinking away from the family was illegal, and we never had any trouble distinguishing these two things. (Which isn't to say we never did it as we got older, but we were quite clear that it was wrong.)

I wouldn't even say it was an issue of "responsibility", because a glass of wine with the family was not viewed as a piece of evil or as something harmful. I guess we were probably limited to one glass, but I don't remember a kid ever asking for more than one. And it certainly wasn't look it as giving us "experience" with alcohol, at least that's not the way it was portrayed to us: it was something to enjoy and savor with good food and company on a special occasion. I have no idea whether it made the kids in my family more or less inclined to drink as adults, since we have no control group. But we're good kids in my family and I can't say that anything any of the adults in my family did was irresponsible parenting. Maybe it's a cultural thing, like SunDeck mentioned too.

Matt700wlw
09-29-2007, 05:03 PM
Responsibly?

What's that? ;) :D :p:

SandyD
09-29-2007, 05:39 PM
I had a similar experience growing up. We were offered wine with dinner on special occasions. Occasionally a beer, tho less frequently. The purpose wasn't to "expose" us to alcohol, or teach us anything.

And it never occurred to me to drink anywhere else, until I was 18 (which was the legal drinking age back then.)

GAC
09-29-2007, 07:14 PM
Watch it GAC... are you calling my parents irresponsible??? ;)

If they were allowing you to drink alcohol while underaged, then yeah, in this particular area, not overall as parents. ;)

And I'm not referring to families that allowed their kids to have a glass of wine on occasion with a meal because of a cultural aspect/tradition. I lived in Spain for two years and this was a common practice.

But then, you couldn't drink the water. ;)

But I don't think that is what this article is alluding to either (traditions).

Ltlabner
09-29-2007, 07:32 PM
Now, as I said, it's a theory. When I was going to school in Hamburg I saw plenty, I mean PLENTY of binge drinking among the kids.

Carnavale in Calogne is also nothing but binge drinking.

GAC
09-29-2007, 08:25 PM
Why can't kids today, if you want a beer, do like previous generations? Sneak one of your Dads!

Just make sure he doesn't find out about it!

Maybe that's why my Dad always bought Blatz and Weidemann beer? :lol:

camisadelgolf
09-30-2007, 10:54 AM
Forgive me for not reading most of the posts (and the link). I just wanted to add my two cents on the subject. First of all, I didn't have my first alcoholic beverage until I turned 21 years old. It's now a few years later, and I binge drink all the time. But seriously . . .

Where I am (in Germany), the legal age is 16, but they don't stick to that law too strictly, and I've never seen more responsible drinkers. Of course, there are some bad apples (as to be expected everywhere), but for example, they take drinking and driving very seriously. My friends here will refuse half a beer because they're driving. I think part of it comes from the earlier education about drinking, but I think most of the responibility comes from the harsher laws here. If you took away a person's driving license for multiple years and changed the legal BAC from .08 to .01, I think you would see a lot more people drinking responsibly.

When I was a teenager, when my friends heard there was alcohol at a party, they went crazy and binge drank because it was one of their few opportunities to do so. With the teenagers here, drinking opportunities are available every day, and it's not such a big deal when alcohol is available at a party.

I apologize if I'm crossing a line by bringing politics in this (and maybe I'm getting off topic), but do you think it's reasonable that at 18, you're old enough to legally kill a person in Iraq, but you're not legally old enough to drink a beer at a bar?

Yachtzee
09-30-2007, 11:34 AM
Forgive me for not reading most of the posts (and the link). I just wanted to add my two cents on the subject. First of all, I didn't have my first alcoholic beverage until I turned 21 years old. It's now a few years later, and I binge drink all the time. But seriously . . .

Where I am (in Germany), the legal age is 16, but they don't stick to that law too strictly, and I've never seen more responsible drinkers. Of course, there are some bad apples (as to be expected everywhere), but for example, they take drinking and driving very seriously. My friends here will refuse half a beer because they're driving. I think part of it comes from the earlier education about drinking, but I think most of the responibility comes from the harsher laws here. If you took away a person's driving license for multiple years and changed the legal BAC from .08 to .01, I think you would see a lot more people drinking responsibly.

When I was a teenager, when my friends heard there was alcohol at a party, they went crazy and binge drank because it was one of their few opportunities to do so. With the teenagers here, drinking opportunities are available every day, and it's not such a big deal when alcohol is available at a party.

I apologize if I'm crossing a line by bringing politics in this (and maybe I'm getting off topic), but do you think it's reasonable that at 18, you're old enough to legally kill a person in Iraq, but you're not legally old enough to drink a beer at a bar?

I experienced the same thing when I was there. One could buy beer in the dorms at the beer vending machine, or they could actually buy alcohol at the lunch counter in the university building where we had most of our classes. There was no drive on Friday afternoon to get back from school and find some alcohol for the big party that night because it was readily available. Rather than focusing on drinking, the focus was on meeting members of the opposite sex. And drinking and driving just did not happen. You either went to places within walking distance, took the bus, or took a cab. People who spend thousands of dollars and a year of classes getting a driver's license just don't want to risk losing it.

Of course Ltlabner mentioned Karnival in Cologne, but that is really a different animal in that it is an annual celebration of the start of Lent, like Mardi Gras and Carnival in Brazil. There is of course also Oktoberfest in Munich at the end of September. The key difference from those events and say, any Friday night in an American college town is that a) the crazy excessive drinking is pretty much limited to special occasions, rather than every weekend; and b) you don't have nearly the instances of alcohol poisoning that I've seen on American college campuses. Binge drinking doesn't just involve mass quantities, it involves drinking a lot in a short period of time, often too fast for the body to process.

I think the key is that kids in other countries learn social drinking in a family environment. I'm not talking about some kid's mom or dad who wants to be the "cool mom/dad" going out and buying cases of beer for the kids and their friends and then letting them have a wild party. I just think there's a difference between the attitudes of young people toward alcohol when they experience it with their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, where the alcohol is merely enjoyed with a meal or acts just as a social lubricant that gets everyone talking and having a good time, and young people experiencing alcohol with a bunch of other kids where the goal is to get blasted.

I have no problem with parents who don't want their kids to drink at all. That's their prerogative. My concern is that the laws criminalizing underage drinking are becoming so strict that parents who want to teach their kids to drink responsibly in a family setting as they themselves were raised may find themselves in trouble with the law.

cincinnati chili
09-30-2007, 11:40 AM
If you took away a person's driving license for multiple years and changed the legal BAC from .08 to .01, I think you would see a lot more people drinking responsibly.


I agree with the former. I don't know about the latter.
Are there developed countries that actually prosecute you for a .01? It seems like whiskey-basted hot wings and basic medications could give a lot of false positives.

Unassisted
09-30-2007, 06:37 PM
Maybe I'm not reading the article correctly, but the girl in the story was not drinking at parent sponsored parties - but at family functions/social events. I'm totally against and so are my parents of these "parties".:thumbdown
I didn't read the article. I just assumed from the comments that it was about sponsored gatherings.

For me, the issue of sponsored parties is not so black and white. I get the rationale behind parents throwing them and I also know that they are against the law. I don't want to throw one and I don't want my kids to attend one. But I also don't disapprove of other parents throwing them if they and the parents of every kid in attendance accept the responsibility. The responsibility part is probably the rub for this issue.

IslandRed
09-30-2007, 10:22 PM
I think the key is that kids in other countries learn social drinking in a family environment. I'm not talking about some kid's mom or dad who wants to be the "cool mom/dad" going out and buying cases of beer for the kids and their friends and then letting them have a wild party. I just think there's a difference between the attitudes of young people toward alcohol when they experience it with their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, where the alcohol is merely enjoyed with a meal or acts just as a social lubricant that gets everyone talking and having a good time, and young people experiencing alcohol with a bunch of other kids where the goal is to get blasted.

That's a terrific post.

My kids might drink and they might not; either way, I want them to have a proper attitude about it. That is much easier to teach at home and it's better if they actually learn it, and not just hear platitudes that might vanish from memory at the first sip hundreds of miles away from home.

George Anderson
09-30-2007, 11:18 PM
I agree with the former. I don't know about the latter.
Are there developed countries that actually prosecute you for a .01? It seems like whiskey-basted hot wings and basic medications could give a lot of false positives.

I was told by my Russian guide that it is illegal to drive at .01 in Russia. She also mentioned that a few years ago she did lose her license for being over the limit but she did get her license back after meeting with the police chief and giving him a rather large sum of money to get it back!!!:rolleyes:

Chip R
09-30-2007, 11:27 PM
That's a terrific post.

My kids might drink and they might not; either way, I want them to have a proper attitude about it. That is much easier to teach at home and it's better if they actually learn it, and not just hear platitudes that might vanish from memory at the first sip hundreds of miles away from home.


I think that's a healthy attitude. I also think that in some cases, the more you forbid something to children the more likely they are to do it - especially when they are no longer under parental supervision.

camisadelgolf
10-01-2007, 05:15 AM
From what I've seen, the members of families in the States are much more independent than the ones in Europe. I'm not trying to turn this into a U.S.A. vs. Europe debate, but I don't think it's a coincidence that Europe, the place with closer families, seem to have a better grip on binge drinking.

GAC
10-01-2007, 08:58 AM
If you took away a person's driving license for multiple years and changed the legal BAC from .08 to .01, I think you would see a lot more people drinking responsibly.

M.A.D.D. will never let that happen in this country. One powerful lobby.

Roy Tucker
10-01-2007, 09:33 AM
Just to be clear, if you are a parent and you sponsor a teen drinking party, you are legally responsible. You can go to jail and also can be liable for civil suits.

This happened just up the road from us.

Last Updated: 8:59 pm | Saturday, July 21, 2007
Crash fatality blamed on party
Parents face teen-drinking charges
BY JANICE MORSE | JMORSE@ENQUIRER.COM

DEERFIELD TWP. -- A Deerfield Township couple was charged Friday with permitting underage drinkers on their premises.

Jose Hernandez, 43, and his wife, Cinda, 47, each face four charges stemming from an April 14 party that preceded the traffic death of a 17-year-old Mason High School junior.

Dustin Russell was a passenger in a car that Roman Zmood, 19, was driving when it slammed into a tree on Snider Road near Irwin Simpson Road. Both teens had been drinking at the Hernandez home before the fatal crash, authorities say.

"There was a group of teenagers drinking at their residence and our investigation has revealed that the Hernandezes were aware of it," said Robert Peeler, municipal prosecutor. "They were present."

The Hernandezes could not be reached for comment. They are scheduled to appear in Mason Municipal Court on July 31. Each charge carries a fine of up to $1,000 and six months of jail time if they are convicted.

Zmood, meanwhile, faces years in prison and a lifetime driving suspension if convicted of two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide. His trial is set for Oct. 1 in Warren County Common Pleas Court.

Peeler said the potential for tragedy - and for prosecution - always lurks when parents allow drinking in their homes.

"Parents need to understand that they will be held accountable for permitting underage persons to consume alcohol at their residence if it is not their own child," he said. "Some parents think that as long as they collect the car keys, everything is fine. But it doesn't always stop kids from driving - and that's the big danger."

Butler County Prosecutor Robin Piper points out that parents also face potential lawsuits if a partygoer is hurt or killed after drinking at the parents' home.

"On the civil end, they'll lose everything they have, maybe just on attorney's fees," Piper said.

The specific charge that the Hernandezes face is less common than charges of furnishing alcohol to minors or selling alcohol to an underage person, Peeler said.

"Charging parents basically for permitting teenagers to drink at their home is a little more unusual, but it does happen," Peeler said.

"We have some cases of that type filed every year."

He and Warren County Prosecutor Rachel Hutzel both said they believe such cases are on the rise.

"I think prosecutors across the state are a lot more aggressive about it than they used to be, primarily because DUIs are a bigger problem than they used to be - and those can be committed by underage young people, too," Hutzel said.

The chances of parental prosecutions increase when a disaster results after a party, as in the Hernandez case, she said. Deaths launch intensive investigations that are more likely to reveal where the underage people were drinking.

"A lot of times, the kids don't want to tell on the adults who are 'cool' enough to let them party," Hutzel said. "Some adults say they're trying to teach the kids about alcohol. I say that's not the right thing to teach a kid."

Both she and Piper said they were glad to hear that grown-ups were being held responsible for their role in the wreck.

Overall, however, teen-driving fatalities have been dropping recently in Butler County. Piper says a public-awareness blitz conducted this year by his office, local police and community groups may have helped.

Piper said he couldn't think of any recent Butler County incidents where teens were killed after partying with adults' knowledge.

But cases like the Hernandezes' cry out for others to take notice, he said.

"It's a message we've been preaching over and over, not to host alcohol parties," Piper said. "Sometimes, it takes something like this to get people's attention."

GAC
10-01-2007, 09:37 PM
Good post Roy.

Sometimes, trying to be that "cool" parent can cost you big time in many ways.

M2
10-02-2007, 01:28 PM
Anyone who's spent any time abroad, even in Canada, can tell you that teen and early 20s binge drinking in the U.S. is off the charts. Part of it is a cultural affectation that dates back to Prohibition. While some people will always abuse alcohol, what Prohibition did was create a behavior where non-alcoholics binge drink. Americans took the attitude that you best pound 'em while got 'em. That behavior survived after Prohibition with younger people who still couldn't legally purchase a drink.

It's been passed down to us and I'm sure the vast majority of us have lost count of how many parties we've been to where the entire assemblage takes the attitude that you need to drink until the booze is gone (and then you start trying to figure out how to get more booze). It's a sin to leave a drop behind. Your standard non-alcoholics in other countries don't have that attitude. They might not finish all of their drink. When they go out, it's not unusual for them to have a stiff drink or two and then order soft drinks. You rarely see that in the U.S.

When I was in Spain at age 20, the locals were astounded by the drinking capacity of me and two of my American friends. There were a few bars where our drinking was considered an actual attraction. We could drink for free because word or our booze exploits had brought in new customers. We were viewed like mythical alcocrazy demititans. While our tolerance had built up to impressive levels after a few months of contant drinking, our willingness to drain massive quantities of booze wasn't anything different than what it had been back in the states, where our drinking wouldn't have drawn much notice from our peers.

Make no mistake about it, young Americans are pretty twisted when it comes to alcohol consumption.

So I can understand the urge in some parents to provide some sort of supervision in that area, especially in places where everyone has to drive to get home. It may not be legal, but it is sensible.

I agree with those saying that your first drunk driving violation should result in the forfeiture of your license and the second in some significant jail time. If everyone knows that's the deal, without the massive wiggle room currently built into the system, that would curb most attempts at drinking and driving. It should also be stressed that the penalties for drinking and driving need to be evenly applied regardless of age. Courts and police tend to bring holy wrath upon younger folks who slip up and do it once while allowing supposedly mature adults to do it as a matter of course.

One thing I learned from volunteering for governmental drinking studies (mostly designed to test whether you could tell if you're drunk), is that bourbon chicken wings aren't going to push the vast majority of folks over 0.01 blood alcohol. Perhaps it could do it in combination with a beer or if you're 90-something pounds. Then again, if you're 90-something pounds, chances are you aren't eating that much to begin with.

Count me among those who firmly believe the drinking age should be 18. If you're mature enough to vote for President, be tried for a capital crime, buy a gun and serve in the military,then you're mature enough to have a drink. If anything, I think mature enough to have a drink should come before those other things.

It's high time the federal government stopped tying highway funds to the state having a drinking age over 21 and started allowing states to make these decisions for themselves. Local government is dying on the vine these days because everything has been kicked upstairs. States and municipalities should have the ability to set their own drinking standards and a healthy, ongoing debate on the subject would be a welcome injection of democracy.