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Vehicle: Car: Drunk Driving
Individually chosen driving/drinking age   (+3, -7)  [vote for, against]
Allow people to decide whether they want to drive first, or drink first

This idea was inspired by mihali's in Car:general ("raise the driving age"). The common wisdom is that it's good that the drinking age and the driving age are separated, so that you learn to handle one before you start doing the other (in theory, of course). But why should they be in the order they are? What if you're a party-minded youth living in a city with good transit? Shouldn't you be able to drink at 16 and wait until 21 to drive?

So, I propose that at 16, you should be able to choose. Either take a driving test and get a driver's license, or take a drinking test (how long you stay drunk, how much will kill you, etc.) and get an underage-drinker's license. You can't get the other kind of license until you're 21. Drinking while you have a driver's license, or driving while you have a drinker's license, would carry extra stiff penalties (suspension of the other license, at least).

And, just to round out the idea, I'd like to add waugsqueke's graduated-license idea. The license you get at age 16 allows you to drink beer and wine, or to drive during daylight. At 18 you get to drink liquor, or to drive at night. (A parent-or-guardian could allow you to drive at night if they think it's ok or necessary.)
-- wiml, Jun 07 2001

raise the driving age http://www.halfbake...the_20driving_20age
original idea [wiml, Jun 07 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]

This is really brilliant, except for one thing it doesn't address vis-a-vis the other post by mihali. Proponents of his idea are saying that 16-year-olds are generally incapable of handling the responsibility of driving, alcohol or no. Certainly the responsible use of alcohol and driving requires a certain level of maturity largely lacking in the mid-teens, but I say the tremendous responsibility of driving even while perfectly sober is too much for the same group. So I must vote this down, simply because it still allows 16-year-olds to drive.
-- globaltourniquet, Jun 07 2001

I like the bit about drink-testing to see " much will kill you, etc." Here, lad, knock back this two-liter jug of aquavit and we'll come back in twenty minutes to see if you're dead yet. (I know wiml means toxicity testing, it just struck me funny.)
-- Dog Ed, Jun 08 2001

I drank (illegally) at 14, learned to drive (legally) at 17, and still don't believe I do either particularly responsibly, (now 22). I'm supposed to be a boring scientist but I'm not getting the hang of that either. I have a little brother who has (legally) bought a pellet gun aged 13. (Which makes me so angry.) They let me vote yesterday, as they did 4 years ago. I've had six years to get killed for my country (should there have been any reason to). Re: Driving vs Drinking, IMHO, I think drinking should come first (if you really feel you have to let them do something at 16), and driving later, at the same time as war and voting, because drinking is the vice that only harms yourself (at that age), whereas the others can potentially cause a whole world of problems for other people.
-- lewisgirl, Jun 08 2001

Solution sounds simple to me - make the age 17 for everything, (drinking, driving, voting, smoking, lottery, sex etc etc) and intorduce a compulsory national identification card scheame. No ID, no Beer, Cigarettes, Lottery etc etc.

For people caught selling Alcohol/Cigerettes etc underage people, 30 days in solitary, then 45, 60 and 90. As he says, the point will get through.
-- CasaLoco, Jun 08 2001

i was thinking about this a bit ago and the whole age rating stuff is wrong, WRONG I TELL YOU. you can have sex at 16 but you can't take pictures and look at them until you are 18. you can smoke tobacco (which will kill you) at 16, but you are not allowed to smoke harmless old weed at all and aren't allowed to drink until 18 (might kill but indirectly)
my reform goes like this:
Porno - Any age - who died from masturbation?
Weed and Sex and Alcohol - 16 - Come on, they all happen together in some particular order
Driving - 17 or 18 - There needs to be some degree of responsibility for a car driver, maybe individual personality tests for people to decide when they can drive
-- dekoi, Jun 08 2001

Re: under-18's not being able to handle alcohol - drinking ages are lower in certain European countries. Said countries have lower rates of alcohol abuse in young people than in the UK. Getting stupidly drunk all the time is just a cultural thing.

Besides, I've seen little evidence of adults being more responsible with alcohol. But then, I've been at university for the last four years. Still haven't figured out where drinking 50 pints of beer a week and intelligence fit together, but I'm sure I'll get it soon...
-- -alx, Jun 08 2001

// how many people actually need to drink for a living? //

I don't know, but if any positions open up, please let me know.
-- snarfyguy, Jun 08 2001

If you die during the drinking test,will this adversely affect your getting a driving license at a later date?
-- mcdornan1, Jun 09 2001

Probably not...from some of the people I've seen 'driving' on the Interstates, they've been dead for a while, going on cruise control...
-- StarChaser, Jun 09 2001

(at the risk of being caught re-telling the old Zucker bros' "Top Secret" joke...)

[mcdornan1]: Only if your condition remains unchanged at said later date...
-- globaltourniquet, Jun 09 2001

dekoi you must know that masturbation isn't the only thing that results from pornography. There are many victims who can testify to that. Proposing that even children be allowed to be exposed to it is just sick.
-- Helium, Jul 22 2001

The thought that there are age restrictions implies that the younger people are of an inferior race. I thought this society is supposed to treat people equally.
-- Amishman35, Jul 22 2001

' The thought that there are age restrictions implies that the younger people are of an inferior race.'
Absolute rubbish.
-- angel, Jul 23 2001

Someone's probably already mentioned this, but the ages for drinking and driving are the same here in England - you are legally allowed to drink at 18, and can get a driving licence at 18 (although I think you can start learning at 17 - research?)
-- NickTheGreat, Jul 03 2002

//most teenagers (grow up) thinking that '..~.., drinking, ..~..' are essential steps to being an adult//

I'm 15 and whilst all my friends are happy getting bladdered on a bottle of smirnoff, I don't drink, and don't particularly intend to. So there.
-- NickTheGreat, Jul 03 2002

Bad idea, because (1) it's a bitch to keep track of and enforce, and (2) you're asking someone to make a decision at age 16--when they can't be bound to contracts--that will take away what would otherwise be a right (driving may be a privilege, but the ability to apply for a license is still a right).

This is just whining about age restrictions, and isn't really new. They're arbitrary, but self-curing, and there really isn't anything better.
-- bookworm, Jul 04 2002

i think this is a great idea because it will let you get more control of one or the other but they should make them take a test on the history of achohol or some thing so it isn't just a test on how much you can take in before you die to get a drinking license
-- innes, Nov 19 2002

this wouldn't change a thing in the US. Right now if you're 16 you can drive, but when you drink you have to be afraid of the consequences. If this idea was the case, all 16 year olds would still drive and would still be afraid of the consequences of drinking. The only thing that would change is how afraid they would be.
-- thejini, Aug 06 2003

This could be solved a lot easier and less evilly by making the damn driving test hard, and only letting you take it while drunk. Then you can just make drinking and driving legal.
-- xicl, Aug 06 2003

Oh, let's take it to extremes. Assign a value to the combined priveleges of voting, driving, and drinking, and let people choose.

You may opt to never vote and begin doing one of the remainder as a child. Or you could choose to vote your childish mind and never learn to drive.
-- normzone, Jul 15 2008

random, halfbakery