By: Claudia Smith
In a recent episode, 60 Minutes told the story of 18-year-old Gordy, a former college student at University of Colorado at Boulder. Gordy and 26 other pledges were told they had to go to a mountain and drink 10 gallons of hard alcohol in 30 minutes. Once the 30 minutes were over the members of the fraternity had come to get Gordy and the other pledges, but Gordy was incapacitated, having drunk approximately 20 shots of alcohol. His fraternity brothers just put him on a couch and did not seek any medical attention. Gordy passed away that night due to alcohol poisoning.
His parents believe that if the drinking age were lowered to 18 the other fraternity members would have called an ambulance. If the drinking age were lowered the fraternity brothers would not have feared being arrested for underage drinking. The drinking age should be lowered to 18.
What most adults want to believe is that their children never drank alcohol until they were 21, but they are wrong. Fifty-six point seven percent of adults age 20 or under have consumed alcohol. Since the drinking age is so high it does promote underage drinking. According to data from a Monitoring the Future (MTF) study, an annual survey of U.S. youth, three-fourths of 12th graders, more than two-thirds of 10th graders, and about two in every five 8th graders have consumed alcohol. Further more, when youths drink they tend to drink intensively, often consuming four to five drinks at one time. It is clear that our law of no drinking until you are 21 is not working; rather there is more drinking behind closed doors and binge drinking (drinking excessively). Lowering the drinking age will not allow 18 year olds to go out and get drunk, but they will be able to drink in public places and not be forced to consume as much alcohol as possible because they don’t know when they can get it again. When kids view drinking as cool, and the “forbidden fruit” it makes them want to drink to... [continues]
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