Boulder's Top Cop Says Lower the Drinking Age to 18

February 2009

Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner appeared on CBS' 60 Minutes last night to argue in favor of lowering the drinking age to 18, saying the current drinking age is unenforceable and that young drinkers distract police from going after more serious offenses, such as driving under the influence. The news program paid for Beckner to fly to New York for the interview, according to Boulder's Daily Camera. The show mentioned the 2004 alcohol-poisoning death of University of Colorado freshman Lynn Gordon "Gordie" Bailey, quoting his parents as saying they believe their son would still be alive if fraternity brothers who were under the drinking age hadn't been worried about calling the police. But Emily Tompkins, spokeswoman for the Colorado chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, tells the Camera her organization opposes the idea, fearing that deaths involving drunk drivers would rise significantly. The idea has some support among university administrations across the country, which argue that lowering the drinking age would drive young drinkers out from the underground. CU's administration is not among those backers.