Lowering The Drinking Age

Lowering The Drinking Age Everyone knows that it is illegal to consume alcohol until the age of 21. Many people are in agreement with this legal restriction. Some would even say that it should be raised. However, the legal drinking age sometimes causes more problems than it prevents. First, it is necessary to question this law. Why is 21 the magical age that makes one intelligent and mature enough to consume alcohol? In an alcohol summit held in Boulder Colorado, Boulder County Sheriff George Epp said There’s a general belief that immature people are less likely to handle the effects of alcohol, so our Congress has chosen to set an arbitrary limit (at age 21).

We all know some people under 21 who can drink responsibly, and some over 21 with no hope of ever drinking responsibly,. Why isn’t the limit 18 or 35 or 40? This seemingly arbitrary number is associated with adulthood, as if the day a person turns 21 they know everything and are mature. The drinking age used to be 18 in some states. Many parents of today’s teenagers were legally allowed to drink at 18. Today’s teenagers face more responsibility and are treated more like adults than their parents were.

This makes the 21 restriction seem out of date. At 18, people are considered adults. It is the opinion of many people whose sites I visited that if it is legal for 18 year olds to drive cars, fly planes, vote, marry, pay taxes, take out loans and risk their lives in the armed forces then it should be legal for them to drink alcohol. I also am in agreement with this statement. Today’s legal drinking age is unrealistic. Prohibiting the sale of liquor to young adults creates an atmosphere where binge drinking and alcohol abuse have become a problem. Banning drinking for young people makes alcohol a tantalizing forbidden fruit. Teenagers look at drinking as something glamorous.

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It is viewed as an adult activity; and teenagers want to be adults as soon as possible. In order to get a drink, teenagers will carry fake I.D.s ask legal drinkers to buy for them or sneak drinks from their parents’ liquor cabinets. This kind of devious attitude does not encourage responsible drinking. Furthermore, when the opportunity to drink arises, there is a kind of Let’s make up for lost time attitude. The result is binge drinking. The drinking age should be lowered to 18.

With the focus on education about safe drinking instead of restriction, many problems would be averted. American teenagers, unlike European teens, do not learn how to drink gradually, safely and in moderation. There alcohol abuse isn’t as big of a problem. This comes from educated and gradual drinking. Young people learn to regard moderate drinking as an enjoyable social activity rather than as something they have to sneak around to do. Without this kind of system, college is viewed as a kind of liberation. If 18 year olds do not have legal access to even a beer in a public place, they are ill equipped to deal with the responsibilities that come with drinking when they do have the right.

The drinking age should be lowered because the current age has no real basis. With a lowered drinking age, fewer problems will be present. The Boulder County Alcohol Summit came up with no concrete action plan but they seemed to agree that we need to teach responsible drinking, not forbid teens from drinking. The problems, which make a drinking age limit necessary, are better solved through a lowered drinking level and more education on responsible drinking. So the next time the issue is put to a vote be sure to vote for lowering this arbitrary drinking age. Social Issues.

Lowering The Drinking Age

The drinking age in the United States is a contradiction. At the age of eighteen, one can drive a car, vote in an election, get married, serve in the military and buy tobacco products. In the United States you are legally an adult at eighteen. An eighteen-year-old, however, cannot purchase alcoholic beverages. The minimum drinking age should be lowered from twenty-one in the United States.

Unbelievably, the United States citizens trust their sixteen-year-old children to drive three thousand pound vehicles. We require our working young to pay taxes. We trust the decision-making abilities of eighteen year olds in public elections, with the right to smoke, and with the choice of marriage without parental consent. Our young adults are encouraged to join the army and fight for their country. We however believe that until the age of twenty-one our young adults can not handle alcohol.

There is an ever-growing problem on campuses all across the nation with the abuse of alcohol. College freshman, usually nineteen, enter college with a bias involving the drinking law. In almost every aspect other than the drinking age, these freshmen are considered adults. However, they are told by the law they are not responsible enough to handle alcohol.

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Elizabeth Whelan declares, “Banning drinking by young people makes it a badge of adulthood — a tantalizing forbidden fruit”. This badge of adulthood is quickly attained by college freshman, who lash out at the drinking age, with binge drinking. The abuse of alcohol by young people can likely be prevented, certainly not in all cases but in many.

In most European countries moderate drinking is common by teenagers. These teens have been taught about the dangers of alcohol and were brought up by parents who let their children experience alcohol moderately. Whelan observes, “Though the per capita consumption of alcohol in France, Spain and Portugal is higher than in the United States, the rate of alcoholism and alcohol abuse is lower “.

United States parents should take the hint from Europe and educate their children about alcohol. Parents should not just say alcohol is bad and evil. Parents should teach about the effects of alcohol, how to drink properly and when alcohol is appropriate. Parents have the chance to properly educate their young adults. These young adults will experience alcohol somewhere and will be given an education by someone. The lessons of alcohol should be learned at home.

There are many possible remedies to the problem of underage alcohol abuse. The best possible curative would be to lower the drinking age to nineteen, not eighteen. At eighteen many young adults are still in high school. However, at the age of nineteen most young adults are out of high school or close to graduating. The thought of high school seniors legally drinking would put a bad taste in many citizens’ mouths. In Canada, the drinking age is already nineteen, which entices many nineteen or twenty year olds across the border for a drink.

Our young adult population lashes out at the law by drinking excessively. There are too many young adults being hurt while abusing alcohol. Too many deaths, rapes and accidents have occurred. This illegal action can be deterred, and many lives will be saved, but only through the education by parents and society. The drinking age should and can be lowered.


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