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October 12, 2004

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To the editor:

This letter is prompted by "KU student group taps into lower drinking age debate," Lawrence Journal-World, Oct. 5.

Jared Loehr takes a holiday in Ireland and decides that since the legal drinking age is 18 over there, it should be lowered to 18 in Kansas. The questions that come to mind are, "how long was he there?" and "how does he know what kind of problems show up in a society with that kind of early drinking age when he was just there 'traveling with his family'"?

Having just come back from two years in North Wales, I can say without a doubt that alcohol causes more problems than he saw.

"On a Saturday night in North Wales, town centers are blighted by young drunks fighting each other." -- Judge John Rogers, QC "CCTV attack pair fined" North Wales Pioneer, 5/19/2004.

On the Web site for UK's National Health Service it says "Research has shown that a very high percentage of adults in the UK (over 90% of men and 86% of women aged 16 years or over) drink alcohol," and also that "Binge drinking is becoming a big problem in the UK. Teenagers as young as 16 admit to binge drinking and around 40% of patients admitted to A&E; (emergency room) are diagnosed with alcohol-related injuries or illnesses."

I know it will not happen in Kansas unless it happens nationwide but people need to know that it doesn't always "work out all right in other countries."

Corey Williams,

Lawrence

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