The Legal Drinking Age
Kyra C. Lyons
Bryant & Stratton College
July 3, 2012
Increasing or decreasing the legal age at which people can purchase and drink alcohol has been a controversial issue for quite some time now. Some people say that it should be lowered because teens drink anyway, some say that it should increase or the stay the same due to health risk. There are many other viewpoints to both sides and in this paper we are going to explore both sides to the story Some believe that the legal drinking age should be lowered and we are going to explore why. They say if a person can go to war, shouldn’t he or she be able to have a beer? They American society has determined that upon turning 18 teenagers become adults. This means that they can enlist into the military to serve, fight, and potentially die for their country. Most importantly at age 18 you become legally responsible for your own actions. You can buy cigarettes even though in time you know that they can give you lung cancer. You may even purchase property, sign contracts, take out a loan, vote, hold office, serve on a jury, or adopt a child. But strangely at 18, one cannot buy a beer. In most other countries, the age of majority coincides with the legal drinking or purchasing age.
Lots of people drink before they turn 21, despite the current legal drinking age. Doesn’t that prove that the policy is ineffective? The trend over the past decade is that fewer 12-20 year olds are drinking, but those who choose to drink are drinking more. Between 1993 and 2001, the rate of 20 year old who reported consuming alcohol in the past 30 days decreased from 33.4% to 29.3%, while the rate for binge drinking increased among the age group over those same years, from 15.2% to 18.9%. (Teens at risk, 2009, p. 2). Furthermore, as compared to 1993, more 18-24 year olds who chose to drink in 2001 were drinking excessively. This was defined by frequency of drinking, frequency of...
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