Lowering the Drinking Age

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Blake Beier
Composition II
Exploratory Essay
The legal drinking age has been a continuously debated subject in the United States since its establishment. The national legal drinking age of twenty-one years old was placed in 1984 and still holds to the present, but many have begun questioning whether twenty-one is still an appropriate age for our current society. Much of this debate starts with college campuses and binge drinking. As a senior in high school, and soon-to-be freshman in college, I began wondering if the drinking age is still suitable for present times, and if it should be altered. According to University of Michigan, approximately 80% of high school students have tried alcohol before graduating, and 60% have gotten drunk. With these statistics, it seems evident that the legal drinking age is not efficiently doing its job, and should be reviewed. So the question arises: Should the legal drinking age be changed?

I started my research with “Repeal the Drinking Age,” by Jeffrey Tucker, Publisher and Executive Editor of Laissez Faire Books, from his own Mises Daily blog. In his article, Tucker begins his blog by discussing how most countries’ legal drinking ages are eighteen, but in the “land of the free,” the limit is set at twenty-one, even though the nation knows it is not working. Tucker relates the current drinking age to Prohibition, stating that the twenty-one age limit is rather liberal, and that putting restrictions on alcohol, like during Prohibition, only results in bigger problems. He then concludes that the drinking age is based on “one overarching argument: driving,” where we simply do not want drunken teens on the road. Tucker also states that the data on drunk driving “cannot be statistically attributed to the national minimum drinking-age law.” Tucker concludes by saying if we are serious about a “free society,” the nation needs to repeal the minimum drinking-age law. When exploring Tucker’s article, I have to agree that...
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