At the end of the prohibition in 1933 the legal age to drink was twenty one. During the Vietnam War it was eighteen. By the end of the 1970’s not all of the United States were in agreement with each other, some were eighteen and some were twenty one. In 1984 the federal government stepped in and passed the Federal Underage Drinking Act (FUDAA). This act required all states to raise their legal age to twenty one; if they refused, their annual federal highway dollars would be cut by ten percent.
Should the Teenage Driving Age Be Raised? The age at which you can legally drive varies from country to country, but in many places it is lower than 18. In most American states it is 16 or younger. Usually you are allowed to take a driving test a year or more before you can even vote. As young drivers are the ones most likely to have accidents, from time to time there are calls to raise the driving age.
The driving age has been as low as 14 years old in South Dakota and as high as 17 in New Jersey. Increasing the driving age would not only benefit us individually but also our country as a whole since increased driving ages would decrease pollution, fatality rates among teens, and many other factors jeopardizing our country. “What are you doing? You’re going to make me drive my kid to the movies on a Friday night for another six months” (Mandel, 2008). Parents have argued and said that in raising the driving age would be a hassle for them.
Alcohol can put this sort of development to a stop, which puts the young adult at a much higher risk for addiction, depression, violence, and increases the chances of suicide. Having the drinking age set at 21 lowers the overall amount of alcohol consumption. There was a study back in 2002 to prove this. The results showed an 87% decrease in alcohol consumption with a higher legal drinking age. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) did some research in 2009 and found that nighttime drivers’ percentage on the weekend with a BAC of .08 had dropped from 5.4% back in 1986 when there was a lower drinking age, to 2.2 %.
Some people have debated the legal drink age should change to younger than 18 years old. Binge drinking is proof that we need to keep 21 the age required to buy alcohol. Younger people drinking alcohol can hurt the brain; research shows that the brain is not fully grown when people are younger than 21 years old. If younger people excessively drink alcohol, it will result in higher traffic fatalities and cause irreparable damage. In the United States, it is legal to have a driver’s license at 16 years old, younger people at this age like to try new things, because of this curiosity they are more eager to drink.
Any state can lower the age of legal drinking within their boundaries if they choose too. However, if any state chooses to lower the age, they will be cut off from highway funds from the government. So the debate has begun in many states whether lowering the drinking age would benefit our country or take it downhill. Many colleges are supporting the idea of change for reasons including reduced binge drinking among college students and eighteen year olds should be able to have a beer if they can fight and die for their country. Many people oppose the idea arguing eighteen to twenty year olds will only drink more if they are legally allowed to.
Nikki Hinkebein Dr. Boehnlein Position Argument 28 October 2011 The Drinking Age Needs to be Lowered Underage drinking is a major issue in the United States. Through out the country, deaths due to alcohol happen frequently and Americans are trying to find ways to reduce these fatalities. The legal age to purchase and consume alcohol in the United States should be moved from 21 to 18. In many European countries, the drinking age is 18 or does not even exist. Europeans have more control and responsibility with drinking than American youth because alcohol is a part of their daily lives.
Lowering the legal drinking age in the United States Legal drinking age in this country was not always twenty-one; it has fluctuated between twenty-one and eighteen over the past few decades. In the article, “Underage Drinking and the Drinking Age” by Carla T. Main, the issues of voting age during the Vietnam War are discussed. Furthermore, she speaks about how the change of the legal voting age is linked to the change of the minimum legal drinking age. Along with this issue came the issue of lowering the minimum legal drinking age as well. Americans began to realize that as eighteen year olds, citizens were given many rights, and those should include voting and drinking.
I believe the drinking age should be lowered down from twenty-one to nineteen years old. America is fighting too hard against underage drinking, in turn, weakening itself. Obviously our tactics of fighting aren’t making alcohol any safer in America. The problem has become severe and leaving the legal age at twenty-one is not helping. Alcohol is a problem among Americans and we should enact a law that leads to a better path for underage Americans.
Why? Is the main question asked? Many Americans believe the underage drinking age percentage would drop if the age is lowered. Some reasons of why Americans under 21 drink: peer pressure, enjoyment, etc. But the main reason for doing so is “breaking the law.” 87% of high school seniors have used alcohol.