Legal Drinking Age Debate

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“Legal drinking age should be lowered to 18”

Pros

* The age at which one is considered a legal adult in the US is typically 18. Turning 18 entails receiving the rights and responsibilities of adulthood to vote, smoke cigarettes, serve on juries, get married, sign contracts, be prosecuted as adults, and join the military - which includes risking one's life. This recognition of maturity should also encompass the right to drink; if young people are responsible enough to fight for their country or have sex, they should be responsible enough to have a drink. In any case, studies show that many underage young people have tried alcohol; it is clear that the current legal restrictions do not work. Strong pt.

* 18-20 yr. olds are drinking regardless and lowering the legal age removes the ‘forbidden fruit’ guise surrounding underage drinking * Lowering MLDA 21 to 18 would make alcohol less of a taboo for adults newly entering college and the workforce, take away the thrill that many young people get from breaking the law, and make alcohol consumption a more normalized activity done in moderation. Strong pt.

* Lowering MLDA 21 to 18 would allow 18- to 20-year-olds to drink alcohol safely in regulated environments with supervision. Prohibiting this age group from drinking in bars, restaurants, and other licensed locations causes them to drink in unsupervised places such as fraternity houses or house parties where they may be more prone to binge drinking and other unsafe behavior. Strong pt.

* MLDA 21 is largely ineffective because the majority of teens continue to consume alcohol. According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, underage drinking accounts for 17.5% ($22.5 billion) of consumer spending for alcohol in the United States. [16] In 2006, 72.2% of twelfth graders reported drinking alcohol at some point in their lives. Medium pt.

* High non-compliance with MLDA 21 promotes general disrespect and non-compliance with other areas of US law and encourages young adults to acquire and use false identification documents to procure alcohol. In an era of terrorism, illegal immigration, and other national security concerns, it is better to have fewer fake IDs in circulation and more respect for the law. Medium pt.

* MLDA 21 enforcement is given low priority or ignored by many law enforcement agencies due to resource limitations, statutory obstacles, perceptions that punishments are inadequate, and the time and effort required for processing and paperwork. An estimated two of every 1,000 occasions of illegal drinking by youth under 21 results in an arrest. If it’s a joke to law enforcers, then why is it in place at all? Weak pt.

* Drinking alcohol is an enjoyable activity. 18- to 20-year-old adults should not be denied that enjoyment when other pleasurable activities are legal at age 18. Weak pt.

* Lowering MLDA 21 would reduce the number of underage people who are hurt from alcohol-related injuries or accidents due to fear of legal consequences if they sought medical attention. Strong pt.

* State governments should have the right to establish a lower legal drinking age that reflects their unique demographics, legal context, and history. The Uniform Drinking Act, which compelled states to set the legal drinking age at 21 by withholding ten percent of highway funding from states that kept the minimum legal drinking age at 18, is an example of federal government overreach into state affairs. Many states that were happy with their MLDA 18 bowed to federal pressure rather than lose millions in annual highway funds. Too much government control in state affairs and personal life Medium pt.

* Lowering MLDA 21 would be good for the economy because more people would legally be able to drink in bars, restaurants, and other licensed establishments. Revenue would increase for private business owners, and greater amounts of tax revenue would be collected by the...
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