English 108 Fall 12
The drinking age of 21 should be lowered to the age of 18.
Many rights have different ages of initiation. A person can obtain a hunting license at age 12, driver's license at age 16, vote and serve in the military at 18, serve in the U.S. House of Representatives at age 25 and in the U.S. Senate at age 30, and run for President at age 35. At 18 years old you're considered to be an adult. You can get loans, buy a car, house, get marry, and adopt children. To live on your own legally at the age of eighteen and to have all these other responsibilities, it’s ridiculous not to be allowed to have the right to have a drink. For this reason, it would make sense to lower the legal age for alcohol consumption back to the age of eighteen. I strongly feel that the age should be 18. We wait are whole lives to be 18 because that’s when were considered an adult. As a teenager who recently turned 18 we want to experience adult things. I want to be considered an adult and to me being able to have a drink show’s that I am a mature adult. Underage drinking is already a problem in everyday life, we have kids who can get fake Ids or even just get someone else to get them alcohol so really what’s the age law even accomplishing if people are still getting alcohol and their under the age of 21. I’ve read a recent interview and this is what it said, Dr. Hanson “You're saying that simply lowering the drinking age would solve the problem of drinking abuse among young people?” Dr. Engs-- “Unfortunately, it wouldn't solve the problem. However, it would be an important step in the right direction. The experience of many societies and groups demonstrates that drinking problems are reduced when young people learn at home from their parents how to drink in a moderate and responsible manner. As parents we need to be good role models in what we say and do.And lowering the drinking age would help send the important message that drinking is, in itself, not evidence of maturity...... that responsible consumption for those who choose to drink is evidence of maturity.We need to reinforce the norm of moderation by making it clear that the abuse of alcohol is completely unacceptable by anyone. This would help stress that it is not drinking that is the problem but rather drinking abusively that is the problem. Lowering the drinking age would teach kids how to be more responsible at a younger age. Most teens already drink, whether it's legal or not, but making it legal would allow for more education. If we educate teens on how to drink responsibly, then they will be less likely to binge drink. People say eighteen year olds can’t handle alcohol, because they make to many mistakes. If you start to drink at eighteen or twenty one your tolerance is still going to be the same. Meaning, that no matter what age you start to drink at, you don’t know how much you can handle until you start drinking. So when people say eighteen year olds make too many mistakes when they drink it’s only because they started drinking, just as a twenty one year old will make mistakes when they start to drink. Everyone makes mistakes no matter how old they are. I know for a fact that a lot of teenagers drink regardless of the drinking age, either at home or at parties. People make it seem that because teenagers can get to alcohol, if we lower the drinking age that kids younger then eighteen, kids will also be able to access alcohol even easier and start drinking at a even younger age, but really everyone if they really wanted to could get alcohol. So it wouldn’t even make a difference if the age was lowered. But like I said before it doesn’t matter what age you are when you first start to drink you are going to make mistakes it is part of the learning process. If the drinking age was lowered it wouldn’t seem like the cool thing to do anymore and teens would be more responsible with it. The drinking age is 21 when younger adults get their hands on alcohol they tend to drink a lot more because they don’t know when they will be able to get alcohol again. If we start to drink at a younger age we will see the consequences of drinking irresponsible and learn from it. So as we get older we realize how much we should consume and how much we shouldn’t. In today’s world alcohol is always going to be a problem no matter what age. But having the drinking age at 21 can be a bad idea. It makes teenagers go crazy when they get their hands on alcohol not teaching them the maturity you have to have when you drink. If the drinking age becomes lowered it will help kids from the ages 12 to 18 realize how important alcohol is and how mature we must become when we are under the influence of alcohol. They tell us how we aren’t allowed to drink, that we aren’t old enough or mature enough to do it, but the more adults talk about it, the more teenagers want to do it. When a kid goes off to college, it’s expected that he is going to drink. That’s the college experience that all teenagers look forward to, I know I did. Most kids or teens don’t know how much they can drink or even their limit to drinking. That is when you get people doing stupid things because they don’t know any better. Any eighteen years old they can drink responsibly if they have a little bit of experience or even have their parents teach them.If I was a parent I would like to be able to sit down and have a drink with my son or daughter not to get drunk but to just spend time with my family. According to pact360.org in certain states the law allows you to drink with your child as long as it’s on your property. In Wisconsin, there is an exception that allows a minor to consume alcohol if accompanied by their parent or legal guardian. Social drinking is acceptable; it is a time to have fun while still being in control. Parents can teach their kids how to drink responsibly. Isnt that what a parents supposed to do teach their kids what is right and wrong , to learn from their mistakes and do the right thing in the end. The responsibility given to eighteen year olds includes many opportunities to make decisions that will impact the rest of their lives. If you are old enough to fight and die for your country, you should be able to purchase or consume an alcoholic beverage. If we look at the War, half of the soldiers that fight in that war are under the age of twenty-one, and a lot of them were 17 to 19 years old. Registration for the draft is one of the requirements for all citizens at age eighteen. Even if a person is not actually drafted, the idea that an individual is responsible enough to go to war, carry a firearm, or launch nuclear weapons implies that an eighteen year old is making the same decisions as any other adult. Thousands of men and women are deployed every day to deal with the problems in other countries. While they are over there, soldiers witness many things that we could never dream of. Drinking alcohol and serving in the war can’t even compare. In this newspaper article “World Snapshot Alaskan Bid to Lower Drinking Age for US Troops” it talks about how Lynn has been careful to note that neither he nor his bill promotes drinking or smoking as a habit. But, he said, the bill would "enable all active duty warriors in our US Armed Forces to be treated as adults, regardless of age''. "It's outrageous that a member of our military can be subjected to the horrors of war but can't legally have a beer or smoke a cigarette," Lynn wrote on his blog. "Any soldier who braves military combat and risks their life for our country should be treated like an adult in every sense of the word." Some people would argue that the age should stay at twenty one and their reasoning could be that the main purpose of making the drinking age 21 isn’t just to keep alcohol away from young teenagers but to keep them as safe as possible. Allowing children to drink at a younger age just makes more problems. Most young and inexperienced drinkers usually don’t know their limit which could lead to serious problems like alcohol poisoning. Alcohol is dangerous and can have big consequences on anybody. According to Richard Bonnie alcohol use among youths is strongly correlated with violence, risky sexual behavior, poor school performance, suicide and other harmful behaviors. All things we wouldn’t want for teenagers or even kids. Alcohol is still a serious problem all around the world. It does not go away when you turn 21. Age does not determine whether or not an individual drinks responsibly. I strongly believe that the minimum legal drinking age should be set at eighteen not twenty-one. Underage drinking is going on in every state and is obviously not being controlled. If a person can vote, and even go to war at eighteen, why shouldn’t they be able to go out to dinner and have a glass of wine? Not only will the drinking age change things but it could also help with kids and bonding with their parents.
[Book] Bonnie, Richard J., and Mary Ellen O'Connell. Reducing Underage Drinking: A Collective Responsibility. Washington, DC: National Academies, 2004. Print. [Interview] Engs, Ruth. "The Drinking Age Should Be Lowered." Interview by David Hanson. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Dec. 2012. <http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/YouthIssues/1053520190.html>. [Website]Weber, Jason. "Letting Your Children Drink at Home – Good Idea or Bad Idea?" N.p., 17 Aug. 2011. Web. 4 Dec. 2012. <http://pact360.org/blog/detail/letting-your-children-drink-at-home-good-idea-or-bad-idea>. [News Paper]World Snapshot Alaskan Bid to Lower Drinking Age for US Troops." 2 Apr. 2011: 43. Newspaper Source Plus.