If we look at the world map, most countries in the world have a legal drinking age of 18. Comparatively the legal driving age in many countries is as low as 16, and the age of consent is roughly similar at about 16.
Why is the legal drinking age higher than the other two? It seems clear that the other two have much more serious consequences if something goes wrong:
- Driving: in the event of a crash, the item ruined usually costs tens of thousands of dollars, plus there's a chance of serious injury or death.
- Age of consent: someone could get pregnant, with lifelong consequences. Plus there's the risk of sexually transmitted diseases.
Comparatively getting drunk usually means waking up the next day with a hangover & no permanent damage. But if that's the case, then it should make sense to require a higher age on sex & driving than on drinking.
It seems to me that one explanation is that getting drunk can cause serious damage as well (e.g. the aftermath of this song) but then it also seems like higher age doesn't make this less of a risk, since once someone is drunk they are vulnerable regardless of what their age is.
Has any legislation to alter these recently been passed or proposed by a parliament, political party or prominent NGO and what were the arguments for increasing/retaining the higher drinking age?