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18 Proof

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MARA CANLAS

Age 19

Resides Manhattan

Occupation Student

Should the legal drinking age be lowered to 18? I really don’t think it would make a difference if it were legal to drink at 18.

How old were you when you had your first drink? I never drank when I was young because my mother was very strict. Then I spent a year in France and developed a taste for alcohol.

What’s the most embarrassing thing you ever did drunk? Last summer I worked the Renaissance Fair and I got drunk and jumped a guy. I woke up with scratches down my side, but I couldn’t remember how they got there. Now he and I are dating and are about to move in together in Jersey.




REBECCA WOOD

Age 19

Resides Manhattan

Occupation Student

Should the legal drinking age be lowered to 18? In terms of the college scene, I think fewer young people might get really drunk if it were legal to drink, although a lot of them feel like that’s the only way they can really let go.

How old were you when you had your first drink? When I was 13 I had beer and got drunk on it.

What’s the most embarrassing thing you ever did drunk? I’m really not inclined to go out and get drunk. I did have a roommate last year who peed on the floor of our room. She was so drunk that she thought she was in the bathroom. I saw her do it.




VANDEZEE

Age 34

Resides Manhattan

Occupation Photojournalist

Should the legal drinking age be lowered to 18? I’m a little conflicted about it. They raised the legal age to 21 because there were a lot of drunken teenagers wandering around in the street.

How old were you when you had your first drink? I was always allowed to drink with my family, so that by the time I got to college I was so used to it that I never went for the whole keg party thing. I lived in Europe, where people smoke and drink responsibly.

What’s the most embarrassing thing you ever did drunk? Once I drove drunk after drinking a lot of Chivas and Coke. Because I’d gone to the party alone, I had to drive myself home. I drove about five miles an hour, my eyes little slits.




CHRIS BARISH

Age 28

Resides Manhattan

Occupation Nightclub Owner

Should the legal drinking age be lowered to 18? The question is, are 18-year-olds responsible enough? In our bar uptown, we used to put a sign up that said “23 and Up” just because we didn’t want a bar full of 21-year-olds.

How old were you when you had your first drink? I was in the seventh grade. I bought wine coolers from the deli.

What’s the most embarrassing thing you ever did drunk? Oh, it doesn’t end. When it was open, I once did a pole dance at Moomba in my underwear. When I left I was dressed only in my boxers and a T-shirt.




RICK DEVILLE

Age 28

Resides Brooklyn

Occupation Music Producer

Should the legal drinking age be lowered to 18? Adolescents in other countries drink responsibly, and because it’s part of the culture and not a taboo, drinking isn’t an act of rebellion there.

How old were you when you had your first drink?

Eleven. I had a little taste of beer. It wasn’t until I was 15 that I got drunk on peach schnapps. Of course I threw up.

What’s the most embarrassing thing you ever did drunk? I once passed out at a bus depot in a snowbank.




NICOLO MONTRUCCHIA

Age 28

Resides Manhattan

Occupation Student

Should the legal drinking age be lowered to 18? Yes. I’m from Italy and there you can drink at 15 or 16. The one thing they do better in the U.S. is control drunk driving.

How old were you when you had your first drink? Sixteen or 17.

What’s the most embarrassing thing you ever did drunk? I don’t remember. It happened so often. I had a bad wild period.




ALISON NORMANDEAU

Age 20

Resides Manhattan

Occupation Student

Should the legal drinking age be lowered to 18? Yes. If you can go to war and die for your country, if you can drive a car and vote, there’s no reason you shouldn’t have a drink. And if you can have a drink anytime you want, there’s no reason to drink to excess.

How old were you when you had your first drink? Eleven or 12. Vodka and Coke, which was what was in the liquor cabinet. I didn’t get drunk.

What’s the most embarrassing thing you ever did drunk? Oh no, I can’t say. This summer, dressed in a T-shirt and a thong, I walked into a friend’s living room, which contained her father.

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