Last summer I was selected as a student ambassador with People to People and had the privilege of traveling to England. One of the main cultural differences I experienced was walking into a restaurant and witnessing a 16 year old drinking a beer.
In England, drinking is permitted at a very young age in a private place or with your parents. Even though the law states that you must be 16 to consume alcohol while eating at an establishment, identification is rarely questioned. Alcohol deaths have been on the rise continuously in England and binge drinking is also becoming a serious problem. The cost of insurance is outrageous, three times as much as I pay in the United States, because of so many young people involved in so many accidents.
The United States is one of only four countries with a drinking age of 21. I myself do not believe in drinking at all, but I do consider 21 to be an acceptable age to allow adults to drink. At 21, our brains are fully developed and we are more mature to handle the affects of alcohol. I know from my own experiences with my family that drinking can cause problems. I am glad that I live in a culture that is very strict on the drinking age because as a nation we are concerned about our citizen's safety. I don't know what it will take for other countries to follow in our footsteps, but I hope they do soon to save lives.