Lower the Drinking Age

Topics: Drinking culture, Alcoholic beverage, Alcohol abuse Pages: 3 (924 words) Published: May 13, 2002
Lower the Drinking Age

Everyone knows that it is illegal to consume alcohol under the age of 21. Why is 21 the "magical" age that makes a person intelligent and mature enough to consume alcohol? Sure, some adults abuse alcohol and some teenagers would be perfectly able to drink responsibly, but why not 18 or 35 or 40? This seemingly random number, 21, is associated with adulthood, as if the day a person turns 21 they know everything and are mature. The drinking age should be lowered to where one can learn to drink responsibly.

First, the drinking age used to be 18 in some states. Many of today's parents were legally allowed to drink at 18. Today, teenagers are faced with more responsibility and are treated more like adults than their parents were. This makes the 21 restrictions seem out of date. At 18, people are considered adults. Some people say people under 21 are not mature enough to drink responsibly. These same immature people are allowed to vote, risk their own lives in the armed forces, smoke, have sex with whomever they wish and live on their own. Yet, it is still illegal to drink.

Secondly, today's legal drinking age is unrealistic. Prohibiting the sale of liquor to young adults creates an atmosphere where binge drinking and alcohol abuse become a problem, especially for the majority of college students. Banning drinking for young people makes it a temptation, an emblem of rebellion against authority, and a symbol of adulthood. Teenagers look at drinking as something glamorous. The government has tried prohibition legislation twice in the past for controlling irresponsible drinking problem. According to Wechsler, this was during National Prohibition in the 1920s and State Prohibition in the 1850s. These laws were finally repealed because they were unenforceable and because the reaction towards them caused other social problems. Today we are repeating history and making the same mistakes that occurred in the past. It did not...
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