University students see drinking prevail despite legal drinking age

By Courtney Mintenko
March 5, 2013 - 6:58am

As the Saskatchewan government announced its decision to keep the legal drinking age at 19 years, 18-year-old's seem ready to continue drinking regardless.

Although not allowed to drink in bars, students at the University of Regina agree that people 18 and under know how to get their hands on alcohol, and have no problem continuing to do so.

"It doesn't matter," said Jillian Eberts, who recently celebrated her 19th birthday, "you still drink when you're 18, 17, 16. It's not just me, it's everybody."

Eberts prefers keeping the drinking age at 19, saying there could be more trouble in bars with younger people allowed in, and "mistakes could be made."

Kyle Smyth couldn't see any significant changes that would come from a lower drinking age. He admitted, though, it would make activities on campus more inclusive.

"I like the spirit of it. It would allow groups on campus to cater to first-year students. That's a big problem that I noticed; when you get involved with these student groups, you want to have events where you serve alcohol at them, and that alienates some students."

Smyth added that the drinking age has been 19 for so long, that most teens are used to it, and that includes making decisions about things like designated drivers.

Celeste Ulrich agreed.

"I think if you're going to drink, you're going to have to make the same decisions no matter how old you are, or whether its legal or not."

The Saskatchewan chapter of Students Against Drinking and Driving (SADD) says it supports the drinking age set out by the government no matter what it is.

"SADD's main concern is not so much the drinking age," explained Katelyn Betker, president of SADD, "but ensuring that people find a safe ride home because it (affects) people of all ages."

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