The Drinking Age in The U.S. Should Be Lowered
When a person turns eighteen, he or she can get married, vote, pay taxes, purchase cigarettes, be tried as an adult for crimes, legally use their own credit card, purchase real estate, and even enter the military. When a United States citizen turns eighteen, that person is considered a legal adult. According to The United States Constitution, “The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen-years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of age.” In other words, being a legal adult entails so many new responsibilities and they are legally responsible for the consequences of their own actions. Adults should be entrusted with how they handle their alcohol, just like how adults are entrusted with how they spend their money and what they spend their money on. However, being a young adult has one inequitable setback from all the other adults who possess the same responsibility: They cannot legally purchase or consume alcohol. This concept is not only unfair but also unreasonable. If the Minimum Legal Drinking Age (MLDA) was lowered, society could benefit because there would be less accidents and drinking under the influence, citizens are equal, and there would be less reasoning to for teenagers and young adults to go out and party in uncontrolled environments. The United States needs to lower the Minimum Legal Drinking Age to eighteen because it would benefit society as a whole to have younger people who have a better understanding of the effects of alcohol.
The controversy over buying and consuming alcohol started during the Prohibition Act in 1926 and continued from 1987, which still remains a social problem today. As a nation, the government in the 1920s started the National Prohibition that banned alcohol for all United States citizens. This is a reoccurrence of the prohibition laws that were embedded in the United States in the 1850s. Twice the ban of alcohol failed due to the major backlash the government received from United States citizens. Eventually, the laws were dropped and the legal drinking age was lowered to eighteen. Between 1970 and 1975, twenty-nine other stated lowered the Minimum Legal Drinking Age (MLDA) to eighteen, nineteen, or twenty. By 1984, the increase in teenage car accidents resulted in Congress forming the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984. According to the American Medical Association, this was due to the testing scientists did on studying the facts of lowering the drinking age, specifically on car and motor cycle crashes, which so happens to be the leading cause of death among teenagers (1). Surprisingly, this act did not require states to lower the drinking and buying alcohol age to twenty-one. However, it did say that states that did not raise the MLDA would not get certain funds from the federal government. As a result, by 1988 all fifty states raised the drinking age to twenty-one. Although it is illegal to purchase and consume alcohol under twenty-one, there are some exceptions to alcohol consumption. According to ProCon.com, there are eight exceptions to this rule, which include religious purposes, work, education research, and on private, non-selling alcoholic environments with parental consent. Out of all fifty states, forty-two have exceptions to the National Minimum Drinking Age Act (1).
With all of these controversies, acts, and laws debated throughout the century, it is unsurprising that there is an increase in young adult’s drinking activities. National Prohibition failed in the 1920s and early 1930s (Digital History). During this ban of alcohol purchase and consumption, there was a lot of underground activities and backlash. The ban of alcohol proves that having a strict regulation of consuming alcohol is relentless and pointless because people will always find ways to go against authority. With the drinking age unreasonably high, drinking is...
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