Oh Wait…You’re Only Twenty and a Half
April 12th, 2011
Many would consider marriage a sign of maturing and leaving behind adolescence. Legally, a person may take this step without the consent of parents when he or she turns 18. Also, at this age men and women are allowed, even encouraged, to serve in the US army, marines, etc. So, why is it that the law recognizes 18 year olds as mature enough to handle a family, live on their own, or fight for their country but does not believe they are mature enough to drink? Will the ability to drink rationally, and hold alcohol suddenly appear when one turns 21? I do not believe so. That is why I am arguing that the law should permit drinking from the age of 18: the same age that we allow to marry, or fight in a war for this country. Yet, those who desire to keep the legal drinking age at 21 claimed the following: By increasing the minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) the percentage of fatal accidents for those between 18 and 21 has decreased 13%, Current MLDA laws set at 21 are working because the percentage of underage drinkers has decreased since 1984, and the earlier a person begins alcohol use, the greater the chances are of that person becoming an alcoholic later in life, suffering negative physical withdrawal symptoms, and harming his/her brain during its development.
Even though the statement above is factual, there is another side which also argues many issues very persuasively. For example, another source provides evidence of the fact that even though the US increased the MLDAto 21, its rate of traffic fatalities in the 1980’s is less than that of the European countries whose legal drinking ages are lower than 21. This is problematic, seeing as the MLDA increased in order to eliminate the problem of drunk driving, yet research declares that the MLDA at 21 is not necessarily the most effective way to reduce traffic fatalities.
Another point which I would like to clarify is the decrease in underage drinking that...
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