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University Presidents Push for Lower Drinking Age

The presidents of about 100 major universities are backing an effort to lower the legal drinking age to 18. Duke University President Richard Brodhead is among them. He says the current 21-year age limit isn't working to binge drinking on campus. University presidents participating in the initiative also say they could help college students learn how to drink responsibly if the age limit were lowered to 18. But the legal age doesn't inhibit discussion at UNC-Charlotte, according to Angela Cook, of the Wellness Promotion Department. "We make sure that we put in the caveat that it is illegal to drink under 21," says Cook. "It's certainly illegal to operate a motor vehicle while drinking under 21. Putting all of that aside however, if you choose to drink, here are ways you can do it responsibly." Cook says 80 percent of students do drink, so the school focuses on tips to avoid overdoing it. No UNC schools are part of the national initiative to lower the drinking age.