Lower Drinking Age to 18

Topics: Drinking culture, Alcoholism, Alcohol law Pages: 5 (1767 words) Published: October 14, 2012
Time for Change
Celebrating your eighteenth birthday is a memory that you’ll remember for an eternity. Turning eighteen provides so many opportunities because you are now considered an adult. This gives you the right for things such as being able to vote, serving for jury duty, smoking/buying cigarettes, buying lottery tickets, and serving in the military. However, despite everything that you can do on your eighteenth birthday, it does not include the legal consumption of alcohol. This is because in the United States the legal drinking age is twenty-one years old. The legal drinking age is an argument that is often debated and I believe that the legal drinking age should be lowered to eighteen years of age.

In the United States, the legal drinking age has been debated for years. According to the United States, when a child turns eighteen they are considered an adult in this country. They have all of the rights of making their own decisions with voting, smoke/buy cigarettes, buying lottery tickets, getting married, doing jury duty, being tried as an adult, etc. Some of these rights could lead to consequences if they are not responsible. For example, someone who is eighteen can choose to buy cigarettes and smoke, which is damaging to the lungs. This could lead them to a serious consequence of cancer and death. In the same manner, someone who is now 18 and considered an adult, should also have the right to consume alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant and can potentially cause harm if not responsible with it. Therefore, if someone is allowed to buy cigarettes, something that can cause health problems just like alcohol, than they should be able to make the decision themselves as well. Also, being eighteen and an adult in the United States gives us the right to serve in the military. This is problematic because if we can risk our own life for our country, we should be given the rights to make the decision about consuming alcohol (ProCon.org.) It is discussed that with the drinking age being twenty-one years of age, it creates more problems for youth. For example, it is conversed that problems on college campuses with alcohol tend to arise. According to Wagenaar, “Some college administrators argue that the age-21 law has caused more problems on college campuses, not less” (Lonnstrom, 1985). Lowering the drinking age to eighteen allows for college students to exhibit safe consumption of alcohol. This would eliminate underage drinking in bars, restaurants, fraternities or house parties, etc. With the drinking age lower, it can also eliminate students from binge drinking as well (ProCon.org). The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states, “About 90% of the alcohol consumed by youth under the age of 21 in the United States is in the form of binge drinks.” Also, it is shown that drinkers, ranging in the 18-20 year olds, have the highest percentage of binge drinking (Center for Disease Control and Prevention). This shows that college student’s underage are very likely to engage in unsafe alcoholic binges. Although, if the legal drinking age was changed to the age of eighteen, it could eliminate binge drinking and other unsafe drinking for college students due to people’s excitement of breaking the law. College students, especially those underage find a thrill in breaking the law when entering their college years. With the legal drinking age being lowered to eighteen it would take away that thrill as well as create a stronger working environment for college students, by limiting the pressure if drinking in college. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a survey conducted showed “In 2005, about 10.8 million persons ages 12-20 (28.2% of this age group) reported drinking alcohol in the past month. Nearly 7.2 million (18.8%) were binge drinkers, and 2.3 million (6.0%) were heavy drinkers.” The thrill of drinking underage is very apparent through studies. However, if the legal drinking...
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