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Minimum Legal Drinking Age in America

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    Some would argue that the drinking age shouldn’t be lowered because of three very real risks, drunk driving, alcohol poisoning, and violent or destructive behavior. Drunk driving is a stain on our civilization. An average of 17,000 individuals die each year in drunk driving related deaths. It seems quite plausible that were alcohol to be legalized for those under the age of 18, the 15.1% of 18 to 20 year olds who drink before getting behind the wheel would rise significantly. A brief stroll through nearly every campus in America reveals keg parties, crowded bars filled with fake ID minors, and rowdy sorority and fraternity functions. When you consider that adolescence is a time of great impulsivity and tendency for violence and destructive behavior, the dangers of legalizing alcohol for minors become that much more real. The main problem with the United States having a drinking age of 21 is that the age of majority is 18 (19 in Alabama and Nebraska), as it is throughout most of the world.

    That is the age when a person assumes the legal rights and responsibilities of an adult. Consequently, anyone in the United States who has reached the age of 18 is legally eligible to vote, run for office, enter contracts, marry, engage in consensual sex with other adults, adopt children, join the military, be subject to the draft, purchase tobacco, and purchase pornography; that is, everything under the sun except buy a beer. Prohibiting this age group of 18 to 20 year olds from drinking in bars, restaurants, and other licensed places causes them to drink in unsupervised places like fraternity houses or house parties where they may be more prone to binge drinking and other unsafe behavior. When families bring their children out to dinner they teach them restaurant educate, if the legal drinking age was lowered children would not have to hide the fact that they consume alcohol but they can learn drinking educate from their parents.

    There are also fewer drunk driving traffic accidents and fatalities in many countries with the drinking age of 18. Although the United States increased the drinking age to 21 in 1984, its rate of traffic accidents and fatalities in the 1980s decreased less than that of European countries whose legal drinking ages are lower than 21. Lowering the drinking age to 18 would diminish the thrill of breaking the law to get a drink. Normalizing alcohol consumption as something done responsibly in moderation will make drinking alcohol less of a thrill for young adults entering college and the workforce. Taking the thrill of law breaking will help to decrease the amount of minors that drink and drive. The law now is if you get pulled over and are under 21 and have consumed any alcohol that blows a .02 BAC you go to jail. That seems pretty harsh for such a small amount, so teaching 18 year olds who have recently got there license on the effects of drinking and driving will help low the amount of people who drink and drive.

    In an article about why the drinking age should be lowered by the Los Vegas Times stated, Some experts say the solution is to lower the legal drinking age to 18. More than 130 college chancellors and presidents have signed a petition initiated in 2008 in support of the idea. In Alaska, a bill was recently introduced that would allow active members of the military to drink at the age of 18, with the rationale that if they’re old enough to fight and die for their country, they’re old enough to have a beer. The Article is in efforts to help teach safe drinking habits. College presidents all around the country see first-hand the negative effects of underage drinking. Instead of attempting to ban it they are putting efforts into showing how to become a safe drinker.

    Prohibition didn’t work in the 20’s and 30’s and it doesn’t work now. I strongly believe that law authorities, parents and teachers should be taking the sides of 18 year olds and up to teach them how to drink safely. In an article titled “Student Punished for going to Drive Drunk Friend” a high school student looking out for a friend was penalized. Erin Cox says she got a call two weeks ago from a friend at a party who said she was too drunk to drive. She said she went to pick up the friend, because she didn’t want the friend driving drunk or getting into a vehicle with an intoxicated driver. By the time Erin arrived at the party, police were already there.

    They arrested several students for underage possession of alcohol. Erin was cleared to go by police…When she went back to North Andover High School Erin had lost her volleyball team captaincy and was suspended for five games for what she says was an effort to help a drunken friend. This is doing the opposite of showing teens responsibility, Erin saw that she should help her intoxicated friend but then was scolded by her school. This is not showing any effort for teaching young adults not to drink and drive. Raising the drinking age was in efforts to lowing the amount of drunk drivers but this is just one many examples that the drinking age at 21 is not preventing any danger.

    Setting the minimum legal drinking age at 21 years old is unconstitutional. It is discrimination against the particular age group of 18 to 20 years old. Lowering the drinking age stop many teens from breaking the law. If you teach your children how to drink in moderation at a young age they would be less likely to drink and drive. They also would be less likely to drink on school nights and jeopardize their academic work or acceptance for the military. Statistics say that when the drinking age was 18 their where more car accidents. But truthfully the accident rate just moved from the ages 18-21 to the ages 21-25. Underage drinking is allowed in 29 states if done on private premises with parental consent, 30 states if for religious purposes, and 13 states if for educational purposes. People are adults at the age of 18 and should be trusted to make their own decisions about alcohol consumption. Setting the minimum legal drinking age to 21 sends the wrong message about alcohol consumption to teens in the United States.

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    Minimum Legal Drinking Age in America. (2016, Jun 21). Retrieved from

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