The Minimum Legal Drinking Age
Summit County High School
THE MINIMUM LEGAL DRINKING AGE
This paper includes the view of why the drinking age should be lowered to eighteen. It has several points and fats to explain the reasoning of this opinion. It goes into depth of how it is affecting the youth, the future, and statistics and how lowering the age can make a positive change for everyone.
THE MINIMUM LEGAL DRINKING AGE 3
The Minimum Legal Drinking Age
Do we, or do we not lower the drinking age in The United States from twenty one to eighteen? In 1984 U.S Congress put pressure on individual states to raise the drinking age to twenty one and the states who didn't pass the law and kept the minimum drinking age under twenty one would loose millions of dollars in federal highway funds (“Drinking Age...”). The National Minimum Drinking Age Act has not prevented teens from drinking (“Drinking Age...”). In fact, it has propelled our underage youth to binge drink and has justly pressured them to drink in uncontrolled environments, exposing them the dangerous situations. Fox News reported a study in 2011 that 72.5% of our country’s high school students have consumed alcohol; these children feel forced by law to drink “underground” (“Report: Nearly Half...”). Is this what we want?
Once an American turns eighteen they are considered to be an adult in the United States . These eighteen year olds are expected to abide by all of the obligations and responsibilities that come with adulthood. They are entitled because they are thought to have the intelligence and experience to vote, smoke cigarettes, serve on juries, get married, sign legally binding contracts, join the military and fight for our country and as an adult, can be prosecuted. Eighteen is the age when life decisions are made. Some of these decisions can be life changing and potentially risky; so why not have the right to choose whether to consume alcohol or not? As an adult, the legal consequences of drinking are known, including the short term and long term health and legal affects. If our country lowered the drinking age from twenty one to eighteen it would make it more familiar and provide more time and experience to those who are entering careers and making pivotal life decisions instead of experiencing their first drink. Many eighteen year olds are starting college and are going to experiment with alcohol. It is the beginning of adulthood and should be legal.
82% of college students under the age of twenty one drink regardless of the law (“SADD Statistics...”). Setting the legal drinking age at twenty one is very ineffective because minors still drink although the law prohibits it. Statistics prove 26.4% of children between the ages of twelve and twenty have used alcohol and among that same group, 17.4% were binge drinking (“SADD Statistics...”). These facts prove a large portion of our youth consume alcohol even though they are not of age. That said, teenagers who drink underage have a fear of being caught, this leads to make poor decisions and drinking in unsafe and unsupervised environments such as basements, fraternity houses and locked dorm rooms. “All places in which kids go to hide from the law and from adults, including parents, who might be able to teach them moderation.” “This law in fact hasn't reduced or eliminated drinking at all, it simply has driven it underground, behind closed doors, into the most risky and least manageable of settings” (“The Debate on Lowering...”). Each year, approximately five thousand young Americans die from vehicular accidents, suicide, over consumption and homicide while drinking underage (“Underage Drinking...”). A large portion of that shocking number is a direct result of our youth being pressured to drinking in places that are unsafe and the...