On a non-political angle, here's a tragic story about drinking deaths at American universities from CNN.com. (full story)
"(AP) -- It's a sad but recurring campus story: This autumn, students are again drinking themselves to death. Colorado State student Samantha Spady had consumed as many as 40 drinks when she was found dead at a fraternity house in September. Lynn Gordon Bailey Jr., Gordie to his friends, had been taken to the mountains near the University of Colorado with fellow Chi Psi fraternity pledges and told not to leave until several bottles of whiskey were finished."
Look, this is a great argument for LOWERING the drinking age. The legal age in the US has been 21 for as long as I remember and people are still having problems. An alcoholic will become and alcoholic no matter the drinking age. There's is nothing we can do for them, besides offer services to help them get off booze once they have decided they don't want it anymore. Only the alcoholic can heal themselves, you can't force them to quit, it doesn't work.
So, what I'm proposing is aimed at the non-alcoholic binge drinkers. If we were to lower the drinking age to, say 16, kids could learn to drink will under the custody and influence of their parents. drinking alcohol wouldn't be this big rebellious and taboo activity. Having one glass of wine or beer with dinner would be as normal as finishing a meal with dessert. Of course we'd have to have faith that parents can teach their children about responsible drinking. Its obvious that the current system of having strangers just tell (versus parents teaching) kids to not drink or to drink responsibly is not working.