By Heather Costello
The Hyde Senate debated intensely on Brent Baldwin’s, a delegate from the Christian Life Preparatory School delegation, bill that if passed would change the legal drinking age in Texas to 16. Although, the bill didn’t pass with a 20-16 vote at the end of the secession. Proponent speaker used statistical evidence to support their bill while opponent speaker took to emotional stories to state their chase.
“I got into school one day and a friend of mine loss consciousness followed by choking on his own vomit later to be found out he had extreme alcohol poisoning,” Emily Baker, Keller High School delegation, said.
Baldwin originally planned on writing a bill that proposed to raise the drinking age to 25. To get a true debate with his other delegates, Baldwin chose to lower the age to the controversial age to 16.
“At first I was not for the age being lowered to 16, but after doing research my opinion changed for the age limit being lower after I conducted more research,” Baldwin said.
In his opening argument, Baldwin urged people to vote for his bill because currently teens who drink that are underage do it to rebel against their parents or to break that law to be considered cool. If it was not illegal to do so, the amount of kids drinking would go down. Baldwin used a 2014 New York Time article written by Jack Healy that stated “Criminal marijuana cases in Colorado plunged by 65 percent in 2013, the first full year of legalization for personal recreational use.” Baldwin hopes the same will happen with DUI’s
“In countries that have a low drink age, majority of their DUI’s are from the ages of 35-40, because they learn how to drink responsibly” Baldwin said. 60-70%
It was not just drinking the alcohol that was being questioned, amendments were added to teach alcohol safety in all high schools instead of the highly-adopted rule of teaching alcohol abstinence. Also, opponent speakers started to connect the age of 16 with driving
Proponent speakers argued that in European countries that have a lower drinking age do not have any serious replication due to the lower drinking age. It was over 30 minutes of back and forth of debating on this issue, with good arguments from both sides. It was in the specifics of the bill that had the most effect of whether it was going to be passed or not.
“This bill prohibits people under the age of 16; 13, 14, or, 15 are completely off limits of alcohol. Some people for some reason like to have alcohol that is related to their religion and, since that violates the first amendment to the constitution, that violated the freedom of religion, and because they don’t have freedom of religion and can’t express themselves even if there is alcohol involved, in a small amounts,” Jonathan Wallace , delegate from the -Rockwall-Heath High School delegation said.