Legal Drinking Age

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The social, health and emotional problems associated with alcohol abuse have led some politicians and commentators to suggest that the legal drinking age should be raised from 18 years to 21 years. Do you agree? Give reasons and supporting evidence for your answer.

The issue of whether Australia should raise the legal drinking age to twenty-one or keep it at eighteen is a widely debated topic, this essay will educate and argue points in favour of the drinking age being raised. Alcohol is the most widely consumed drug in the world (Shannon 2002), and is the most prevailing drug used by Australian high school students (Yalom 1996). In Australia, it is illegal for people under the age of eighteen to buy, receive, possess, or drink alcohol in a hotel or other public place such as streets, parks and beaches (Shannon 2002). Reducing alcohol consumption by young people through a raise in the drinking age should be a priority for the Australian community and government. This essay will attempt to argue three main points in favour of the Australian legal alcohol drinking age being raised from eighteen years to twenty-one years. Firstly, the dangerously close ages of legally consuming alcohol and legally driving a motor vehicle; secondly, the health issues related to the consumption of alcohol amongst young people; and thirdly, some positive points that have come from the United States after the drinking age was raised from eighteen to twenty-one.

In Australia, a person can, at the earliest, gain their drivers licence at the age of seventeen; only one year before s/he can legally consume alcohol. Drink driving is one of the greatest problems caused by alcohol. Biddulph (2003), states that drivers under the influence of alcohol suffer from impaired vision, perception, judgement, and reaction due to the effect on the central nervous system that alcohol has. Biddulph also states that due to slower reaction times, limited coordination, and lack of attentiveness, which...
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