Should the Legal Drinking Age Be Lowered?

Topics: Drinking culture, Alcoholism, National Minimum Drinking Age Act Pages: 7 (2550 words) Published: November 7, 2010
"This law has been an abysmal failure. It hasn't reduced or eliminated drinking. It has simply driven it underground, behind closed doors, into the most risky and least manageable of settings,"(Debate) said John McCardell of “Choose Responsibility”. Choose Responsibility is a non-profit organization that is for lowering the drinking age to 18. Young adults can vote, fight and die for their country overseas, and purchase tobacco at age 18, but why cannot they have a beer? Drinking among the youth in the United States has escalated to dangerous levels such as binge drinking, reckless parties, and even death. The average age when kids take their first sip of alcohol is a staggering 14 years of age (Debate). The legal drinking age of twenty-one is not working. The government needs a solution to fix this problem before it continues to get out of hand. Therefore, age should not determine when someone can or cannot drink. As well as, lowering the drinking age to 18 could fix the youths drinking habits and dangerous alcoholic environments they face today.

The national drinking age was changed from 18 to 21 in 1984 (Bender). Many people thought that this age would save lives and reduce the amount of kids drinking, but those who thought that were wrong. A majority of college students consume alcohol, almost all of which are underage. Being surrounded by parties, booze, and peer pressure influences college students under the age of 21 to consume alcohol. Easy access to alcohol from their peers gives the underage drinkers a chance to consume as much alcohol as they want in one night. Those under 21 are the heaviest drinkers, which have 5 or more drinks in one night which then leads to a massive problem with our alcohol consuming youth today: binge drinking (Kiesbye). More than ninety percent of alcohol consumed by minors is done

while drinking heavily, or what experts call binge drinking (Pro and con 4). Binge drinking is the main reason why most scientist and experts want to lower the drinking age. College students binge drink because they are not legal to consume alcohol yet so they think they have to fit all of the drinking into one night. This problem can lead to alcoholic poisoning, and sometimes even death. If the drinking age was lowered to 18, this problem could be reduced throughout the country by giving them the right to drink under supervision in a bar, restaurants, taverns, pubs and official school and university functions. In these situations responsible drinking could be taught through role modeling and educational programs. Mature and sensible drinking behavior would be expected. Education of alcohol is extremely important in developing the minds of young adults. The brains of young adults continue to develop past the age of 18. Yet if teens are educated about alcohol and their effects on the brain then they won’t be as stupid about drinking and will drink less if at all. There will be those kids who do not care about the effects of alcohol on the brain and they will continue to binge drink, but most teens have the common sense to drink less if alcohol causes brain damage, loss of brain cells and other dangerous things to the brain. It’s not just the teen’s responsibility be safe about drinking; it is also the parent’s responsibility to make sure their kids are educated enough about alcohol. Parents are an important role in their children’s lives, they need to get involved and teach their children responsible decisions. Adults may not know their kids drink and some kids may not, but those adults who do know about their kids actions need to take the responsibility of being a parent and stop the drinking habits of their kids. Parents have two options in this type of situation: the first one is that the parents do not care that their kids are drinking themselves to death at parties and at other events, and do absolutely nothing to stop it. This option is completely out of the question. Parents know better and...
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