- A typical American college students spends more on beer than they do on textbooks.
- Junior and senior high school students drink 35% of all wine coolers sold in the United States and 1.1 billion cans of beer each year.
- More than million students drink when they are alone; more than 4 million drink when they are upset; and nearly 3 million drink when they are bored.
- A sixteen year old student is more likely to die from a drinking related problem than any other.
More and more teenagers are dying as a result of drinking alcohol before they reach the legal age of 21. Teenagers face increasing challenges in resisting societal pressures to drink. Despite the clear law stating that only those aged 21 and older can consume alcohol, some people choose to ignore this rule.
Although there are numerous proponents of reducing the legal drinking age, it is crucial to acknowledge that contemporary society significantly contributes to the challenges confronted by teenagers. One of these obstacles includes the necessity to conform and be perceived as popular.
The main objective of the webpage is to provide information and discourage teenagers from consuming alcohol. It highlights the risks associated with excessive drinking and driving while intoxicated, which endangers both the individual and other people on the road. Instead, it suggests alternative activities for Friday or Saturday nights, such as going bowling or watching a movie.
Underage drinking is a critical issue in our country that needs to be eliminated. Although there are differing opinions on age-21 laws, they have proven to be successful as public policies. It is disheartening to witness responsible authorities supporting their abolishment.
Jim Hall, ChairmanNational Transportation Safety BoardArgument: Lowering the drinking age will reduce the allure of alcohol as a “forbidden fruit” for minors. Response: Lowering the drinking age will make alcohol more available to an even younger population, replacing “forbidden fruit” with “low-hanging fruit.” The practices and behaviors of 18 year-olds are particularly influential on 15 – 17 year-olds.
If the minimum drinking age is lowered to 18, it would negatively impact younger teenagers who witness older peers consuming alcohol. This may result in underage individuals acquiring alcohol illegally from their older counterparts. However, maintaining the current drinking age of 21 has actually led to a reduction in youth drinking, which contradicts the notion that lowering the drinking age would make alcohol more appealing. Prior to the enactment of the National Minimum Purchase Age Act in 1983, 88% of high school seniors admitted to consuming alcohol within the past year and 41% engaged in binge drinking. However, by 1997, these figures had decreased to 75% and 31%, respectively.
Lowering the drinking age for young people can encourage responsible consumption as they gain awareness of their alcohol tolerance and learn to drink under supervision in bars or on-campus (for college students), instead of unsupervised private parties off-campus. Nonetheless, there is no evidence indicating that simply legalizing alcohol consumption at a younger age will lead to responsible drinking habits. It is worth noting that countries with lower drinking ages experience similar alcohol-related problems as the United States.
The relationship between maturity and responsible consumption is strong, as certain factors like marriage and first job begin to impact behavior. However, simply supervising does not ensure responsibility. Many bars offer discounted drinks and promotions such as happy hours, two-for-ones, and bar crawls, which can encourage irresponsible drinking habits. Raising the legal drinking age has had a positive impact on the levels of responsibility among young people. When comparing 1995 to 1980 when the age was below 21, fewer college students reported recent drinking (68% vs. 82%) and binge drinking (39% vs. 44%). Moreover, a greater percentage of college students disapproved of binge drinking (66% vs. 57%).
According to the 1978 National Study of Adolescent Drinking Behavior, students in grades 10-12 from states with a lower drinking age consumed more alcohol, had a higher frequency of getting drunk, and were less likely to abstain from drinking. Additionally, nationwide data reveals that high school seniors who had to wait until they turned 21 to drink consumed less alcohol both before reaching that age and between the ages of 21-25 compared to students residing in states with a lower drinking age.