Modern Prohibition: The Drinking Age Debate

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Trevor Chattin ENG-112 Mrs. Kurtz Modern Prohibition: The Drinking Age Debate In 1984, a bill was proposed to the U.S. congress to raise the national legal drinking age to 21 from 18 years old. The bill was proposed due to the high rates of drunk-driving incidents during the time period. The ideas of promoting responsibility and safety into young American adults were among the most popular pushes behind the legislation. Not only was this bill proposed, but it was passed through congress and is now a nation-wide law. The 21-and-over drinking laws have actually made for a more dangerous environment for American teenagers by prompting them to do their drinking in private, unsupervised environments. Those environments have created an irresponsible,…show more content…
Throughout Europe, anyone aged 18 or older can drink any type of alcoholic beverage they choose, and many countries have even lower legal drinking ages; France and Italy have a minimum age of 16, Switzerland allows 14-year-olds to drink beer and wine but not hard liquor, and Poland has no minimum drinking age at all (Minimum Drinking Age). Despite these “low” drinking ages, the United States still has higher alcohol-related problems, nevertheless the prohibition of alcohol amongst individuals younger than 21 still exists. A lot of people don’t know that there are exceptions to the law, and that in some states underage individuals can drink with parental consent (some states require the guardian to be present). Young adults aged 18-20 are considered legal adults in the U.S. They can risk their own lives by joining the military, they can serve on a jury in the court of law, and they now have say in the American government by voting for their legislators, but they cannot purchase, possess, or consume any form of alcoholic beverage on any occasion. As Vermont Governor Jim Douglas stated, “Philosophically, it's difficult to reconcile the notion that you can enlist in the military, serve your country, go to war, but not go into your local pub and get a draft beer” (Fennell,…show more content…
The enforcement of the 21 year old drinking age has implemented a culture of serious binge drinking, and has become a nation-wide epidemic amongst high school students, college-aged individuals, and full grown adults. The negative effects from the current drinking age are doing nothing but harm towards society as a whole, and it must be repealed

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