Pros And Cons Of Lowering The Drinking Age To 18

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Why Not Eighteen? Why is it legal for an eighteen-year-old to be able to sacrifice their life for their country, to get married, and to vote, but illegal for them to drink? The controversy and arguments for lowering the drinking age have been debated for years. Beginning with the early 1900s, the eighteenth amendment was ratified and had outlawed the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcoholic beverages in the United States following the Prohibition Movement. However, this amendment was ineffective in its enforcement and people continued to smuggle and consume alcohol as freely as they wanted. With the twenty-first amendment ratifying the Prohibition Movement, states were able to create their own drinking age, usually set at the age…show more content…
By now, it should be clear to society that teenagers will resort to drinking, no matter what. The enforcement of the minimum drinking age law is fundamentally ineffective. A survey had been conducted in 2004 by the University of Michigan which found that “71% of high school seniors had consumed alcohol within the last year, while 94% reported that it was ‘fairly easy’ or ‘very easy’ for them to obtain alcohol” (Minimum Drinking Age). Teenagers find drinking to be incredibly alluring because it is seen as the “forbidden fruit” that allows them to achieve a badge of rebellion and a sense of adulthood. However, these teenagers also live in fear of getting caught for drinking and thus, consume their alcohol in unsafe environments; typically, these dwellings are where they can “escape” disturbances and predicaments, but usually encounter more. These environments are generally unsupervised and in groups of “children” that are ignorant of responsible drinking habits. Due to their apprehension of being caught, teenagers tend to never confess to an adult of the troubles they encountered as they drank and, therefore, may further affect their experience. Thus, if the drinking age was lowered to eighteen, a teenager would have the ability to be more straightforward with their drinking and would be able to drink in more supervised locations. They would also begin to drink in moderation since there is no longer the appeal of a “forbidden” rebellion. This, in turn, would benefit their health. Nearly every other country in the world has a minimum age of eighteen and, evidently, alcoholism amidst the youth is not a global crisis. In fact, “in contrast to their American peers, Europeans are ‘very intolerant of their peers who become intoxicated… they think it’s stupid, unacceptable, and that’s true throughout most of Europe’” (Minimum Drinking Age).
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