More than 100 college presidents want lawmakers to consider lowering the minimum drinking age to 18, citing current law as an excuse for furtive alcohol abuse on campus. Dubbed the Amethyst Initiative, this movement has sparked intense debate over the efficacy of such a measure, including the argument that it would put more pressure on high schools to deal with near-legal adolescent drinking. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), which has come out against this initiative, has compiled a set of statistics that includes data on the costs of underage drinking, as well as the significant influence parents have.


The latest Mapping America goes even further, examining federal survey data which show that one of the most effective extralegal deterrents to abusive youth drinking is married biological parents.