The American Medical Association concluded that alcohol use during adolescence and young adulthood causes damage to memory and learning capabilities. In a study in the 2006 Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine found teens who drink before age 14 had a lifetime risk of alcohol dependence of 47% compared to that of those who began drinking at age 21(Roan). A higher drinking age has resulted in lower rates of alcohol consumption and traffic crashes (Roan), and significant reductions in the amount of damage due to drinking (Keen). Still, roughly 100,000 people die every year due to the effects of alcohol (Keen). Why should we lower the drinking age even more and raise that number?
Drinking Age Some argue to keep the drinking age at 21 because the brain does not finish maturing until the age of 25. It is even worse to have people drinking at age 18. Setting the drinking age at 21 has not stopped teen drinking; instead, it has increased underage binge drinking, leading to more health and life-endangering behavior by teens. Because alcohol affects everyone drastically, the drinking age should remain at 21 to keep young adults from having poor health and making poor decisions. One statistic that would argue for raising the drinking age is an examination of death rates from homicide and vehicle accidents.
This sends a conflicting message to the young person, that drinking is permissible at an earlier age than 21. Scientists conclude that early drinking by adolescents increases the lifetime likelihood of alcohol dependence, and that overall drinking levels in a society are directly linked to drinking problems (NIAA p. 2). The peers of an individual can also have a strong influence upon drinking habits. A person is likely to behave according to their friends’ standards in order fit in and be accepted. If peers encourage others to drink alcohol underage, often teens will drink to feel more accepted by their peers.
The number one argument by supporters of the 21-year-old limit is that it reduces alcohol related traffic deaths. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has estimated 16,000 lives have been saved as a result of raising the legal drinking age to 21 (Straszheim). An argument against that statistic by those who don’t believe it is that there may be other reasons for the reductions in traffic fatalities, such as safer roads. Another argument is that young people start drinking long before they turn 21 even with the age limit (Goodale). Although the first fact proves that it has helped our safety on the road, what it doesn’t prove is that even though 16,000 lives have been
security and severely drop the demand for fake IDs. Rising the drinking age hasn’t prevent underage drinking; it has caused 18-20 year olds to over drink and become addicted to alcohol. The drinking age should be lowered to 18 because when you turn 18 you earm so many rights, why not be able to drink and celebrate a little. Drunk driving is most common between the ages of 21-24 instead of 18-20 years old. When you are first allowed to drink is when people get inane and don’t know how to handle alcohol and driving.
In the 1960’s and 1970’s when many states had lowered the MLDA, besides the rise in drunk-driving deaths, studies showed that people raised from childhood in under-21 states were involved in higher rates of alcohol and drug use as adults, and had a higher rate of homicides and suicides. (Moses, 2011) This in turn convinced federal law makers to raise the MLDA again to 21. However, in order to encourage states to comply, the federal government would tighten their purse strings and states would receive little or no funding towards highways. So while there are those who do not necessarily care one way or the other about the actual age limit on alcohol consumption, they do prefer having the federal
Consequences of Underage Drinking & A Lower MLDA Health Issues • Individuals who start drinking earlier than age 21 are more likely to be a driver in a motor vehicle crash, be injured, and be in a physical fight, according to a recent study. The younger the individual, the more likely he or she will experience these The cost of pain and suffering top a outcomes after drinking.10 • Repeated use of alcohol during adolescence can lead to deficits in cognitive abilities, including learning and memory. • Heavy drinking during adolescence and young adulthood is associated with poor cognitive functioning in young adulthood.11 • Serious chronic diseases involving the liver, heart, and digestive system are associated with heavy alcohol consumption.
“Mothers Against Drunk Driving claim the higher drinking age is responsible for a decline in annual alcohol-related deaths, from 26,173 in 1982 to 16,885 in 2005...” (Boston University, 2013). Although this decline is also related to other factors, such as safer vehicles and highway design, it undoubtedly accounts for most of
If the age is lowered, young adults won't binge as often making it safer and not something that's done to be “cool”. Learning how to drink at a younger age allows responsibilities to be taught before kids are sent to college. Lowering the high drinking age in the United States will reduce the irresponsible drinking habits amongst the youth in America.
With the help of these teens, this will begin to improve our economy. Lastly, tourists' that are underage drinkers would not want to come to the US. What 18 year old from a different country would want to visit the US when they cannot drink? They would rather visit a country where they can have this right to legally drink. Due to this conflict, the US is gradually losing tourism