Should the Drinking Age Be Lowered to Eighteen?

Former United States senator Byron Dorgan one time said. “Nowhere in this state should we hold Torahs that permit imbibing and drive or imbibing in vehicles that are on American main roads. This is non rocket scientific discipline. We know how to forestall this. and 36 provinces do” ( searchquotes. com ) . In 1984. Congress passed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act which raised the lower limit imbibing age from 18 to 21. The drift behind this piece of statute law was studies which indicated a higher figure of teenage auto accidents in provinces that had lowered the minimal imbibing age during the Vietnam War epoch ( ProCon. org ) . There are many convincing grounds for why the national lower limit imbibing age should stay at twentyone. Contrary to adolescent belief. intoxicant ingestion is non a right secured by the United States Constitution ( Guy ) .

It is non unconstitutional for provinces to find the age at which an person can devour intoxicant. Thankss to the 1984 National Minimum Drinking Age Act. many lives have been saved based on studies by the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration which reflects that since 1982 there has been a 62 per centum bead in alcoholrelated teenage driving human deaths ( Trex ) . Lowering the minimal imbibing age to eighteen would promote the creative activity of more concerns such as bars to function the extra sector of the population allowed to absorb. Constitutions such as these support poisoning and increase overall offense in local vicinities ( Stewart ) . Additionally. many surveies have shown that intoxicant negatively impacts encephalon development and leads to mistreat subsequently in life ( DeWit ) . Ever sincethe minimal imbibing age was raised to 21. research has indicated that persons less than 21 consume less intoxicant and by and large do non imbibe to a great extent as they age ( O?Malley ) . Eighteen-year-olds do non hold the adulthood and life experience to imbibe responsibly ( ProCon. org ) .

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Alcohol is aknown gateway drug which leads to increased leaning for users to graduate to stronger drugs like diacetylmorphine and cocaine ( alcoholrehab. com ) . Numerous European states have a minimal imbibing age which is well lower than the United States. and information shows higher rates of poisoning for European young person than for young person in the United States ( Friese ) . Despite undeniable grounds that the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 has protected many lives since its passage. a minority of the population has made ineffectual efforts to turn over it and take down the imbibing age one time once more to eighteen. The minimal imbibing age should stay at 21 because it reduces alcohol related maltreatments and offenses in the United States and maintain citizens from doing injury to themselves and other Americans. Throughout history. the United States authorities has been really argus-eyed in finding appropriate ages for the allowance of certain privileges to be bestowed upon its citizens.

For case. an single must be at least 21 old ages of age to “legally buy a pistol. gamble in a casino ( in most provinces ) . or follow a child” and must be at least 25 in order to “rent a auto ( for most companies ) or 35 to run for President” ( Fell ) . These bounds are necessary in footings of protecting society and fostering the younger coevalss of our state. It has been argued that the statute law MDLA 21 infringes on the rights of immature grownups and is unconstitutional. However. MLDA is non considered a constitutional right. In a U. S. District Court in Michigan. on December 22. 1978. the Honorable Ralph Guy. Jr. observed that MLDA 21 is “reasonably related to a province aim of cut downing main road crashes” and that MLDA 21 is constitutional based on three nucleus renters: ( 1 ) “drinking intoxicant is non a „fundamental? right guaranteed by the Constitution. ” ( 2 ) “age is non inherently a „suspect? standard for favoritism ( in contrast to race or ethnicity for illustration ) . ” and ( 3 ) “using the imbibing age to forestall main road clangs has a „rational basis? in available scientific evidence” ( Guy ) .

The Twenty-First Amendment gave states the authorization to find their several minimal legal imbibing ages. Almost every bit shortly as Congress passed the Twenty-Sixth Amendment in 1971 which reduced the vote age to eighteen. single provinces began take downing their minimal legal imbibing age from 21 to eighteen because many rationalized that if eighteen-year-old persons were responsible plenty to vote. surely they could imbibe intoxicant. Because non all provinces reduced their minimal imbibing ages to eighteen. oftentimes immature adolescents would go across province boundary lines known as “blood borders” to obtain intoxicant and devour it in a more permissive province and so drive to the full intoxicated back to their province of beginning. Inebriated adolescents would hold to drive long distances to return place. which provided more opportunities for accidents to happen along their journey.

As a consequence. one of the tragic effects of a deficiency of uniformity between provinces sing the minimal legal imbibing age was a spike in the figure of traffic human deaths amongst 18 to twenty-year-old drivers. This addition in adolescent deceases birthed organisations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving. which promoted a minimal imbibing age of 21 and uniformity between states? policies sing minimal imbibing age demands ( Trex ) . Finally. President Reagan instated the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 which encouraged provinces to increase their minimal imbibing age to 21 by doing their eligibility to hold handiness to federal main road financess dependent upon whether they raised their MLDA ( ProCon. com ) .

The National Highway Traffic Administration estimates that “MLDA 21 decreased the figure of fatal traffic accidents for 18 to twenty-year-olds by 13 per centum and saved about 27. 052 lives from 1975-2008” ( nhtsa. point. gov ) . Additionally. in a 2009 study published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. the consequences showed that “the per centum of weekend dark drivers with a blood-alcohol concentration of. 08 or higher declined from 5. 4 % in 1986 ( two old ages after the MLDA was raised to 21 ) to 2. 2 % in 2007” ( National Highway Administration. July 2009 ) . There is an obvious correlativity between lower imbibing age and increased alcohol-related traffic human deaths.

Many rummies driving related traffic accidents occur between the drunk individual?s place and the constitution which enabled them to go intoxicated. Therefore. where is it that most people go to bask an ice cold beer or pomegranate margarita? They travel to a saloon. cabaret. or saloon to imbibe away from place. Harmonizing to statistics. about 50 per centum of rummy drive related accidents or manslaughter incidents occur after a culprit consumes alcohol at a accredited imbibing constitution ( Anglin ) . Most people agree that bars. saloon. and cabarets do non advance responsible imbibing and. in fact. are insecure environments.

The Journal of Studies on Alcohol. 2002. provinces that “seventy-six per centum of bars have sold intoxicant to evidently drunk frequenters. ” a figure which is reeling but reflects the deficiency of unity prevalent amongst constitutions of questionable reputation. If the lower limit imbibing age is lowered. a larger subdivision of the American populace would derive admittance to such constitutions. therefore lending to growing of these specific types of concerns. Persons who are incapacitated by intoxicant poisoning tend to perpetrate more violent offenses every bit good as misdemeanours. The condemnable component in vicinities additions exponentially when assorted with high sums of intoxicant ingestion by individuals at a local saloon or cabaret. In her 2012 article “How Alcohol Outlets Affect Neighborhood Violence. ” Kathryn Stewart observes that “neighborhoods with higher densenesss of bars. cabarets. and other alcohol-selling locations suffer more frequent assaults and other violent crimes” ( Stewart ) .

Continuing to hold statute law which keeps the minimal imbibing age higher non merely reduces neighborhood offenses. but besides traffic accidents. assaults. and deceases. Keeping the minimal imbibing age at 21 is non merely healthy and life salvaging for the overall public of the United States. but besides has positive effects for the person and his or her physical well-being throughout all phases of life. Research shows that the human encephalon is still in the procedure of developing even into the ulterior adolescent phases of life and that frequent intoxicant use significantly affects encephalon functionality. specifically larning. memory. and attending.

Contrary to the traditional belief that encephalon development during adolescence is merely a ephemeral phase between childhood and maturity. recent findings indicate that many of the alterations that take topographic point during the teenage old ages are alone to this phase of life and are non merely extensions of childhood development. Life experiences greatly act upon the stripling encephalon merely as they do in childhood ( White ) .

By and large. the longer an single lives. the more life experience they gain. Logic dictates that a twenty-one-year-old person would most probably be more mature than an eighteen-year-old person because of his three twelvemonth advantage over the other. There are many lifestyle accommodations which occur when immature grownups turn 18 that make them more vulnerable to prosecuting in potentially harmful activities and substance maltreatment. Conversely. twentyone-year-olds have already settled into a modus operandi of duties and independency doing them less likely to prosecute in foolish and immature decision-making ( ProCon. org ) . Eighteenyear-olds do non hold the adulthood and life experience to imbibe responsibly ( ProCon. org ) . The force per unit areas of mundane big life can be dashing to eighteen-year-olds who are merely go outing the safety of their parents? place. Pressures frequently lead to mistreat of non merely intoxicant. but besides other head blunting drugs.

In the United States. intoxicant is considered a gateway drug. a wont which leads to increased leaning for users to graduate to stronger drugs like diacetylmorphine and cocaine. In 1992 the Journal of Studies of Alcohol and Drugs found that “the younger a individual begins to imbibe intoxicant. the more likely it is that they will utilize other illicit drugs” ( Kandel ) . Additionally. the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported in 1996 that “those who started imbibing before 15s were 101 times more likely to utilize cocaine than person who abstained from alcohol” ( alcoholrehab. com ) . As a consequence of these findings. if the imbibing age is lowered from 21 to eighteen. it is sensible to anticipate that illicit drug usage would besides spread out amongst adolescents ( O?Malley ) .

Scientific surveies suggest that the earlier in life an single consumes his first alcoholic drink. the higher the hazard that he will finally develop terrible intoxicant upsets and maltreatment intoxicant later in life. Harmonizing to findings in a survey by David J. DeWit. Ph. D. . “A potentially powerful forecaster of patterned advance to alcohol-related injury is age at first usage. ” In a recent survey published by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. persons who spent their formative old ages in the 1970s in provinces where the legal imbibing age was lowered to eighteen were more susceptible to what is termed “binge imbibing. ” Andrew Plunk. PhD. observes. “It wasn?t merely that lower minimal imbibing ages had a negative impact on people when they were young…even decennaries subsequently. the ability to lawfully buy intoxicant before age 21 was associated with more frequent orgy drinking” ( Dryden ) . In other words. lower imbibing ages correlate with higher sensitivities to gorge imbibing and intoxicant maltreatment later in life.

Ralph Hingson. manager of the Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research at NIAAA corroborates. “The benefits of the MLDA of 21 carry over into big life. forestalling injuries to adult intoxicant consumers and other people” ( Science Daily ) . It has been proven that since 1984 when the bulk of provinces complied with the rise in the minimal imbibing age to 21 that the overall per centum of underage drinkers diminished well ( Fell ) . Additionally. harmonizing to a 2002 survey published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol. eightyseven per centum of these probes discovered a direct correlativity between lower intoxicant ingestion and higher minimal legal imbibing ages ( Wagenaar ) . There is no uncertainty that devouring alcoholic drinks below the age of 18 has been shown scientifically to negatively impact the human encephalon and lead to destructive behavioral forms later in life. such as illicit drug usage and orgy imbibing.

Many European states have lower lower limit imbibing age bounds than the United States. Some people believe that European striplings learn to imbibe responsibly at an earlier age and within the context of a household environment which in bend cultivates moderateness. Harmonizing to statistics from surveies done by the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs. “A bulk of the European states have higher poisoning rates among immature people than do youth from the United States and about one tierce of the states have equal or lower rates to the United States. ”

Therefore. in actuality. European adolescents have merely every bit many. if non more. jobs with intoxicant maltreatment than striplings in the United States. In fact. a big figure of adolescents and immature grownups surveyed in European states by the European School Survey Project confessed to alcohol poisoning before the age of 13. Therefore. there is no ground for the United States to abandon statute law maintaining a higher minimal imbibing age bound or to instate classs which educate and promote responsible imbibing to striplings ( Friese ) .

In decision. there has ever been strong public support for a minimal bound imbibing age of 21. In 2007. a Gallup canvass showed that “seventy-seven per centum of Americans would oppose a federal jurisprudence that lowers the imbibing age in all provinces to age eighteen” ( Carroll ) . All grounds shows once and for all that a lower imbibing age promotes legion negative effects both on the person and society as a whole. Persons who start imbibing intoxicant at earlier ages affect their brain?s development. have more of a leaning towards developing intoxicant dependance and mistreat even decennaries after initial usage. alumnus to utilizing other illicit drugs which are more habit-forming and harmful. commit offenses. and be given to be involved in intoxicant related traffic human deaths ( DeWit ) .

Eighteen-year-olds do non hold the adulthood to imbibe responsibly. peculiarly when they are in the center of ephemeral stages of life which are really complicated and hard ( ProCon. com ) . The increased figure of persons eligible to devour intoxicant would increase the figure of bars. cabarets. and pubs throughout this nation?s vicinities. therefore pulling undesirables and doing a rise in violent offenses committed ( Stewart ) . The United States tried take downing the minimal imbibing age during the seventiess. which resulted in higher traffic related rummy drive accidents and human deaths amongst teenage drivers. Once the 1984 National Minimum Drinking Age Act raised the lower limit imbibing age. the figure of adolescent human deaths diminished well. and many deceases have been avoided ( nhtsa. point. gov ) .

Even though eighteen-year-olds have been given the right to vote. it does non intend they once and for all can do informed determinations about intoxicant ingestion. Drinking is non considered a constitutional right in this state. but the authorities can modulate the minimal imbibing age based on what it deems is in the American public?s best involvement ( Guy ) . European states have ever had lower minimal imbibing ages for their immature people and have maintained that they teach their populations to imbibe responsibly from birth to maturity. However. the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs admits that poisoning rates for striplings in European states are equal to or higher than comparable age groups in the United States ( Friese ) . European and American research. statistics. and scientific surveies all show beyond a shadow of a uncertainty that there is no benefit socially or separately to take downing the minimal imbibing age from 21 to eighteen in the United States now or in the hereafter.

Plants CitedAnglin. Lise. et. Al. . “A Study of Impaired Drivers Stopped by Police in Sudbury. Ontario. ” Toronto: Addiction Research Foundation. 1997Carroll. Joseph. “Most Americans Oppose Lowering Legal Drinking Age to 18 Nationwide. ” World Wide Web. Gallup. com. July 27. 2007“Connection Between Alcohol and Drugs. ” DARA Drug Alcohol Rehab Asia. Drug & A ; Alcohol Rehab Asia. n. d. Web. 10 Apr. 2013. .DeWit. David J. . Edward M. Adlaf. David R. Offord. and Alan C. Ogborne. “Age at First Alcohol Use: A Risk Factor for the Development of Alcohol Disorders. ” The American Journal of Psychiatry. American Psychiatric Association. 1 May 2000. Web. 10 Apr. 2013. .

Dorgan. Byron. “Byron Dorgan Quotes & A ; Sayings. ” Search Quotes. N. p. . n. d. Web. 10 Apr. 2013.

Dryden. Jim. “Lower Drinking Ages Lead to More Binge Drinking. ” Newsroom. Washington University in St. Louis. 6 Feb. 2013. Web. 10 Apr. 2013..Eby. David. “The Convicted Drunk Driver in Michigan: A Profile of Offenders. ” UMTRI Research Review. 1995Fell. James C. “An Examination of the Criticisms of the Minimum Legal Drinking Age 21 Laws in the United States from a Traffic-safetyPerspective. ” World Wide Web. udetc. org. Oct. 2008

Friese. Bettina and Joel W. Grube. ” Youth Drinking Rates and Problems: A Comparison of European Countries and the United States. ” Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation. 2010Kandel. Denise et Al. . “Stages of Progression in Drug Involvement from Adolescence to Adulthood: Further Evidence for the Gateway Theory. ” Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. 1992“Lower Drinking Ages Can Have an Impact On Later Drinking Patterns. ” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily. 22 Jan. 2013. Web. 15 Apr. 2013..National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Traffic Safety Facts. ” nrd. nhtsa. point. gov. 2008 O’Malley. Patrick and Alexander C. Wagenaar. “Minimum Drinking Age Laws: Effectss on American Youth. ” Institute for Social Research. World Wide Web. monitoringthefuture. org. 1990 O’Donnell. Mary A. ” Research on Drinking Locations of Alcohol-impaired Drivers: Deductions for Prevention Policies. ” Journal of Public Health Policy. 1985 ProCon. org. “Drinking Age ProCon. org” ProCon. org. 22 Mar. 2013. Web. 30 Mar. 2013. .

“Results of the 2007 National Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use by Drivers. ” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. July 2009Stewart. Kathryn. “How Alcohol Outlets Affect Neighborhood Violence. ” Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation ( accessed Mar. 28. 2012 )Trex. Ethan. “Why Is the Drinking Age 21? ” The Week. THE WEEK PUBLICATIONS. INC. 18 Jan. 2013. Web. 10 Apr. 2013. .

Wagenaar. Alexander C. and Traci L. Toomey. “Effects of Minimum Drinking Age Laws: Reappraisal and Analyses of the Literature from 1960 to 2000. ” Journal of Studies on Alcohol. 2002White. Aaron M. . and H. Scott Swartzwelder. “Age-Related Effectss of Alcohol on Memory and Memory-Related Brain Function in Adolescents and Adults. ” Recent Developments in Alcoholism Alcohol Problems in Adolescents and Young Adults. Vol. 17. Boston ( MA ) : Kluwer Academic/Plenum. 2005. 161-76. Print.

“Why 21? ” MADD.Mothers Against Drunk Driving. 2012. Web. 01 Apr. 2013. .

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Should the Drinking Age Be Lowered to Eighteen?. (2017, Sep 06). Retrieved from