The credit for initiating and supporting this change goes to MADD or Mothers Against Drunk Driving who organized a massive national campaign to address the legitimate concern about drunk drivers. Few, if any, argued that we didn’t have a problem. But even at that time, there was huge concern that the remedy would have little or no impact on the problem. In addition, 18 year olds can join the military and go into harm’s way, vote in all elections, marry without parental consent, purchase cigarettes, and can consent to their own medical treatment. The logical question then is why should this one area be treated differently?
The process for how this change came about was an example where well-organized and passionate citizens, persistent in their vision, can successfully impact public policy, even at the national level. That process of citizen engagement and leadership on challenging issues, I very much like. I just didn’t at the time agree with this direction, which opens the door for further analysis of the outcomes and more engagement on the differing perspectives that exist now after over 30 years of experience with this policy. I hope you’ll consider participating in the poll, adding to the discussion through the comments section below, and keeping an eye out for my next post on this topic.