I think there’s something to be said in the abstract for bringing the drinking age in line with the voting and military age, but lowering it to combat binge drinking seems uncreative and naive. If you’re looking for the causes of binge drinking, here’s a perceptive take:

“You think it’s a coincidence that it’s in college that most Americans do their most serious falling-down drinking and drugging and reckless driving and rampant fucking and mindless general Dionysian-type reveling? It’s not. They’re adolescents, and they’re terrified, and they’re dealing with their terror in a distinctively American way. Those naked boys hanging upside down out of their frat-house’s windows on Friday night are simply trying to get a few hours’ escape from the stuff that any decent college has forced them to think about all week.”

–David Foster Wallace, “Laughing With Kafka”