Anyone see Johnny Manziel’s photos of him celebrating his recent Cotton Bowl win? There were a few pictures of him partying in a Dallas nightclub. He looked like he was having a good time. In one picture he is holding a bottle of champagne. The only thing is Johnny whose football nickname is Johnny Football isn’t 21. The Heisman Trophy winner is only 20.
At first there was a lot of controversy over the pics until someone pointed out that here in Texas, you can drink alcohol under the age of 21 if your parents are with you and they consent. Johnny’s parents were reported to be in the club with him. There were also reports that Johnny Football did not consume the alcohol just posed with the champagne bottle for photos. The controversy quickly died down once it was discovered that Johnny wasn’t doing anything illegal.
I remember when I lived in El Paso soldiers who were under 21 were allowed to drink on the military base. They have since changed laws about the military allowing people under the age of 21 to consume alcohol. However there are exceptions to the rule. One of those exceptions is, if the base is located within 50 miles of Mexico, the commander may adopt the lower drinking age for military personnel on base. I haven’t been on base for a while and I don’t know if the under 20 set are allowed to drink but it makes me wonder how they came up with the age of 21 as the legal age to drink.
I also wonder if 21 is the age that we are magically ready to drink, why they allow the whole, “if your parent gives it to you it is okay loophole.” I do find it odd that soldiers are old and mature enough to go to war for the country at 18 but not old enough to consume alcohol.
I did a little research and it basically comes down to statistics. Studies showed an increase in motor vehicle fatalities attributable to the lower drinking ages. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) also fought hard to bring the legal drinking age to 21.
During the whole Johnny Football champagne controversy, I learned that if you are under 21 but married your spouse can furnish you alcohol. I also learned that Texas leads the nation in the rate of alcohol related traffic deaths among 15 to 20 years old.
I remember my first alcoholic drink, Gin and Juice. I don’t recall the occasion but I do remember the drink. My father gave it to me. I was super excited that he gave it to me. I was very young. I thought it tasted horrible. I still cringe each time I hear someone order a Gin and Juice. Some people have the philosophy that if you don’t make the fruit forbidden then people won’t want it. I don’t know if that holds true when it comes to alcohol or not.
However, if you are going to allow your minor children to drink, please do so responsibly.
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