National Drinking Age

Topics: Drinking culture, Alcoholism, National Minimum Drinking Age Act Pages: 4 (1168 words) Published: April 30, 2013
Jesse Meadows
ENG 111
The legal drinking age: Is it effective?
The drinking age in the United States has been 21 since 1984, when President Ronald Reagan and Congress enacted a law stating so. However, in recent years, many people have begun to question the effectiveness of the legal limit asking, is keeping the age at 21 truly protecting minors? Due to many loopholes in today’s legislature, an ever-increasing number of young adults are obtaining alcohol at early ages, leading to increased deaths in direct relation to alcohol. Perhaps if we eliminated these holes in our law, we may also save the lives of thousands each year.

Alcohol, according to the author, is the third leading cause of death in America, and leading cause of unintended injuries, while also the number one cause of death for teens and young adults (Nelson, Wechsler). No parent should have to experience the heartache of losing a child, especially to something as menial as getting too drunk at a party where alcohol was easily accessible. Alcohol is said to be the direct cause of or related to over 75,000 deaths annually. (Hyattsville) With so many deaths related to the consumption of alcohol, surely these statistics can be altered through abstinence advocacy, or more simply providing people of all ages more insight into the dangers involved with alcohol. Most of the deaths directly related to alcohol have been in motor vehicle accidents, because of the number of people driving under the influence, mainly the minors, and those in their early twenties. An issue with the legal age being 21 is that most of the drinking that goes on among those underage is done at parties, and the majority of the alcohol consumption is “binge drinking”. Many universities are not strict with their policies regarding alcohol on campus, leading to many casualties with the college-age subgroup. Wechsler proposed the idea that perhaps with a lower legal age, alcohol consumption could be more regulated...
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