College presidents push to lower drinking age

Presidents of some of the nation's most renowned universities are calling on lawmakers to consider lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18.

The presidents have formed a movement called the "Amethyst Initiative." While the initiative doesn't explicitly state the drinking age should be lowered, it expresses the signers? opinion that the current law is creating a culture of dangerous binge drinking.

Last March, a freshman at Rider University, Gary DeVercelly, died following a night of heavy drinking at a fraternity house. His blood alcohol level was more than five times the legal limit.

"I honestly think the lower it is, the more responsible you'll be when you use it," says 18-year-old Brandon Martin, who will be a freshman at the College of New Jersey this fall.

Not all students, however, think that lowering the drinking age to 18 is a good idea.

"Some kids, especially freshmen, when they're not used to drinking, they drink too much," says Ashleigh Pecherski, a senior at the College of New Jersey. "And that's when alcohol poisoning and that stuff happen."

Groups such as ?Mothers Against Drunk Driving? insist that the legal drinking age should stay at 21, calling the ?Amethyst Initiative? unacceptable and misguided.

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