Drinking Age Lowered to 18

Topics: Drinking culture, National Minimum Drinking Age Act, Legal drinking age Pages: 6 (2202 words) Published: February 14, 2007
Legal Drinking Age
One of the biggest arguments that you will find going on today is, what the legal drinking age in The United States of America should be. Today in the USA the legal drinking age is twenty-one, but why twenty-one why not eighteen or thirty? Why have a drinking age of twenty-one in this country when there are over two hundred other countries that have lower drinking ages, and none that have higher? Who gets to decide the age at which someone is mature enough to consume alcohol? All these questions and more have been used to both keep the drinking age twenty-one and lower it to eighteen.

Today in America you can not go through high school with out being put in a situation to consume alcohol. Ruth Clifford Engs an applied health sciences professor at Indiana University states that, 88% of high school seniors have tried alcohol, 66% of high school seniors are regular drinkers, and 22% are frequent binge drinkers. (Ruth Clifford Engs) These stats are very frightening. The fact that more than half of high school seniors are drinking illegally on a regular basis and one in four is binge drinking or drinking to get drunk. The biggest reason for these statistics is the age that these students are in their senior year. Now at the age of seventeen and eighteen these students want to be with there friends and socialize with many people. They want to have a good time and feel free. They no longer want to stay at someone's house and watch a movie or play video games under parental supervision. They have grown up and want to go out and party with there friends all night. These students no longer want to be held down by there parents rules and want to be treated as adults. This group thinks that there is an adult world and a kid world. They no longer want to be in the kid world and want to enter the adult world. Katha Pollitt in Why Boys Don't Play with Dolls says "tells adults that the adult world—in which moms and dads still play by man of the old rules even as they question and fidget and chafe against them – is the way it's supposed to be."(Katha Pollitt, p. 225) The adult world is the correct world and drinking takes place in the adult world. They drink to try and gain access to this exclusive world. Another reason for all this drinking in high school goes hand in hand with the senior slide. Hubert B. Herring in On the Eve of Extinction: Four Years of High School, writes that the senior slide revolves mostly around getting into college. Herring says, "If the check's in the mail in December, and if you're already picking out those extra-long dorm sheets and pestering your parents for the very best laptop, it's hard to keep up the grind come March." (Herring, p. 348) By December you are no longer worried about your grades and your "months-long graduation party" (Herring, p. 348) has begun. Also these high scholars have spent there entire life seeing alcohol advertisements which are geared towards the age group they are now in. They see college students out drinking having a good time with there friends and want to do that. Also teenagers are famous for making their own rules and breaking the ones that are put in front of them, so is it any surprise that they are breaking this law. Because of all of these factors this age group instead of staying in and watching a movie are going out, partying, and drinking with their friends. I had this same exact experience. Freshman and sophomore year of high school consisted of going over to some ones house and having a Halo 2 tournament or going to see a movie. However junior year rolled around and this was no longer fun. My friends and I wanted to go out and do something. We wanted to go party and about once or twice a month would end up at a party drinking. By the time I was a senior I was going to parties and drinking almost every weekend along with not only my friends but most of my high school. This is the reality the times have changed and the laws need to change with...
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