Keep the Legal Drinking Age 21

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Keep the Drinking Age 21

The legal age to consume alcohol is the topic of many conversations. Should we lower it or keep it the same? There are many arguments for keeping the legal drinking age at twenty-one. I feel three of the most important reasons are; the impact drinking at an early age has on the brains development, the number of alcohol related automobile accidents involving underage drunk drivers, and my belief that there would be increased alcohol consumption among even younger teenagers.

Research has shown that the brain is not fully developed until the age of twenty-one or twenty-two. “Exposing the brain to alcohol during this period (i.e., before age 21) may interrupt key processes of brain development” (Hanson 1). Consuming alcohol prior to the early twenties can cause “long term and irreversible damage to critical neurological development that is ongoing” (Hanson1). Teenage drinking has also been shown to cause learning problems. Other problems caused by early alcohol consumption are; loss of memory decreased test-taking abilities, and irreversible brain damage.

The number of alcohol related car accidents in 2007 involving sixteen to twenty year olds totaled 1,719 (one thousand seven hundred nineteen). In 2007 underage drinkers accounted for approximately 14% of drunken driving deaths. “Teens accounted for 17% of all drivers who were involved in drunk driving crashes” in 2008 (Snyder1). Imagine how high these numbers would be if we lowered the legal drinking age to eighteen!

It is my belief that if the legal drinking age was lowered we would see a drastic increase in alcohol related accidents involving eighteen to twenty year olds. My belief is confirmed in an article published by MADD that states “When states had lower drinking ages in the U.S., the underage drinking problem was worse. For example, before the 21 minimum legal drinking age was implemented by all states, underage drunk drivers were involved in over twice as...
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