Pros and Cons of Lowering the Drinking Age In today’s society, many young adults turn to alcohol to self-treat depression, stress, and other psychological illnesses. The legal drinking age in the United States of America is twenty-one. It has been that way since the late 1980s, but recently several states have been petitioning and campaigning to get that age lowered. The majority of the petitioners compare the drinking age to the age at which you are considered an adult, eighteen. For most of the people and organizations that support lowering the drinking age, their case is a person can fight and die for their country, serve jury duty , vote for President, but cannot have a beer or two while doing so.
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.
Teenagers are reckless and we must do everything reasonable to prevent deaths. Raising the driving age will cut the number of accidents on the roads. Teenage drivers are much more likely to have accidents than older drivers. In the USA there were over 30 000 deaths in crashes involving 15-17 year old drivers between 1995 and 2004 (Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, RMIIA). Raising the driving age by a year or two will greatly reduce these accidents and deaths.
The first point people have against lowering the drinking age make is that most 18-year olds are mature enough. They believe that young adults do not know when to stop and that they will just drink until they have alcohol poisoning. The second point opposes make is that lowering the drinking age will create alcoholics. They believe that even at 18-years old people are susceptible to gaining a dependence on something like alcohol. If the drinking age is 21 then by that time they will have a strong mind to not be dependent.
Whether the legal drinking age should be lowered to eighteen or remain at twenty one is a big issue right now to lots of people. The younger crowd will most likely argue that it should be lowered to eighteen, but they have many legit reasons why it should be. The legal drinking age should be lowered because it is already easily accessible to them, the percentage of reckless teen alcohol abusers will be reduced and also because at the age of eighteen you are legally considered an adult. Almost all teens between the ages of 14-17 have tried alcohol before. Majority of the time it is given to them by someone between the ages of 18-21.
Every year in the United States, countless college students acquire underage drinking citations and are eventually charged with underage drinking. These charges are a black spot on the permanent record of said students and greatly affect their ability to get a job after they graduate. The fact that the number of students charged with underage drinking do not change from year to year clearly indicates that students who are not of legal age are going to continue to consume alcohol regardless of the law. That being said, why haven’t we considered lowering the drinking age to eighteen? I believe that this reason and many other reasons should steer us as a country to consider finally lowering the legal age of consumption of alcohol.
Canada has had great success with the legal drinking limit being that age. A study published in 2002 by the journal Addiction, found that while alcohol use was more pervasive among Canadian students ages 15 to 24, heavy drinking was significantly less prevalent than among those in the United States (scrippsnews.com) The United States should learn from Canada’s success with this age limit and use it as an example of what good things could come for us. Foreign countries have exhibited such success because children learn to appreciate the alcohol at such a young age. If the US suddenly decided to abolish the drinking age however, it would take a good 15 years for the utter chaos of underage drinking to settle down. For almost two decades the law has been 21.
Why Drinking Age should be Lowered: An opinion based on research The argument that Ruth C. Engs presents about how she believes that the drinking age should be lowered is very solid. Her research backs up her opinion, and the research she displays is valid. The idea of letting eighteen and/or nineteen year olds consume alcohol in controlled areas which practices responsible drinking such as: restaurants, taverns, pubs and official school and university functions. She has been professor at Indiana University for twenty years so she has experience of college youth and drinking. She states that students under the age of 21 are more likely to be binge drinkers.
The discussion concerning the minimum drinking age divides people into three opinions: those who want to keep the minimum age at 21, those who want to lower the age and others who want to raise the age or prohibit alcohol in general. On one hand, the supporters of prohibition of alcohol till the age of 21 base their argument on the comparison with the times when the
Patrick Burns Dr. Michealian College Writing 7 December 2012 Fight at 18, Drink at 18 There has been an ongoing controversy in the United States on whether the drinking age should be lowered to 18 like most of the world or if it should stay at 21. Underage drinking has been a disputed issue for years, which begs the question: why is it not under control? Teenagers continue to buy alcohol with fake IDs, drink illegally, and get into bars. It has been proven that these underage incidents are happening on not only on college campuses but in high school settings as well. Clearly there are many reasons why drinking age should be lowered to 18, the most obvious being that too many people are drinking before they are 21.