Drinking Age Be Lowered

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Should the Legal Drinking Age be lowered to 18? It’s not uncommon for an adult to come home from work, grab a beer and sit down to watch some television. It’s not questioned when an individual over 21 does this. Yet, if that individual is under 21, they would be committing an illegal act in the United States. Is it right for those 18-20 to be denied alcohol consumption? Are they responsible enough to consume it? Despite the opposition insisting that drinking earlier on will only lead to potential harm for those under 21, an 18 year old is considered an adult, can serve in the military, can vote, and ultimately, should be allowed to make his or her own choices regarding alcohol consumption. As Ruth Engs, a professor of Health Sciences at Indiana University once stated, “the twenty-one year old drinking age law is not working, and is counterproductive, it behooves us as a nation to change our current prohibition law and to teach responsible drinking techniques for those who chose to consume alcoholic beverages (Eng, 1999).” To make an educated decision on the debate, however, both sides of the argument need to be evaluated. Why should the drinking age stay at 21? The minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) was set to 21 after research was done looking at how drinking affects health, the brain, and judgment. The first big improvement when the minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) was set to 21 was how fatalities from underage drinking and driving had lowered. “More than 25,000 lives have been saved in the U.S. thanks to the 21 Minimum Legal Drinking Age” (Adressing Underage Drinking, 2011). Teens look at drinking as a way to rebel and seem cool to all of their friends. The last thing on their mind is how it will affect them physically, mentally, and emotionally. Drinking alcohol affects brain development in teens. This means that much of the important development
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