GREENWICH, Conn. -- A Greenwich wine and liquor store owner bluntly says there should be no move to lower the drinking age from 21 to 18 years old.
"No, because these kids today don't have any common sense. They don't know when to stop," Julia Spadaro said.
A recent New York Times “Room for Debate” package revisited the decades-old question, “Should the legal drinking age be lowered?”
She owns East Port Chester Wine & Liquor in Byram at 105 Mill St., just a couple of hundred feet from the New York State line. The name is a throwback to the time when Byram was known as East Port Chester.
She reached behind her and pulled out a stack of phony driver's licenses that underage drinkers have tried to pass of as legitimate in attempts to buy alcohol.
"When a kid comes in with a phony ID, I will say, 'Thank you for adding to my collection.' And they will say to me that it's real," she said. "It's real? 'Suppose we call the Police Department to come down and let them check it out.' They turn around and walk out."
Although lowering the drinking age to 18 would allow her to see more customers, she said it's better that it remain at 21 because people are more mature at that age.
Wilton Police Department Lt. Donald Wakeman said keeping the drinking at at 21 may help prevent alcohol from getting into the hands of teenagers.
"When it is 18, maybe it is that much easier for perhaps a 16- or 17-year-old to get their hands on it, perhaps with the assistance of a friend who is 18," he said. "At 21, I think you have somewhat lost the connection to having your close friends being teenagers."
Meanwhile, there was a slightly different reaction from a young man coming out of a grocery store in Stamford, holding a case of beer and a small bag of groceries.
The man, who declined to give his name, said he was 22 and would have liked to buy beer when he was 20.
"I don't see much difference between me now and then. I think I should have been able to do it then," he said.
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