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Lowering Drinking Age

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Lowering the Drinking Age

Laws are made to benefit and protect us. We have all heard the old folks saying, “learn how to pick your battles.” That is exactly what the government needs to do; fight battles they can win. In the state of Maine, a person must be twenty-one to purchase or consume alcohol. Instead, the drinking age should be lowered to eighteen.
There has been an ongoing controversy in the United States about whether the drinking age should be lowered to eighteen, like most of the world, or if it should stay at twenty-one. Underage drinking has been a major controversial issue for years, yet why is it not under control? Teenagers are continuing to buy alcohol with fake identification cards, get into bars, and drink illegally. As a teen I have proof that these things are going on, not only in college, but in high school as well. There are a lot of factors that come together to why the drinking age should be lowered to eighteen; the most obvious reason is too many people are drinking before they are twenty-one. Liquor stores, bars, and clubs all want to make money, and if they can get away with selling to underage teens, then they will. In an interview done by 60 Minutes, police officers admit that they can’t stop under age drinking all that can be done is enforce the law. It was told that the enforcement results in two arrests for every thousands violations(“60 Minutes” 2). With that said, the law isn’t under control, or being inforced. The law is useless, because people under the legal drinking age are still drinking.
Lowering the drinking age would take away some of the temptation. Drinking is not as much fun when it is allowed. The most common reason for underage drinking is because alcohol is seen as “the forbidden fruit” or “a badge of rebellion against Authority” and as a symbol of “adulthood.” In a study by Dr. Ruth Engs, Professor of applied health and science, it was found that by increasing the legal drinking age, young people tend to abuse alcohol more. In actuality, raising the drinking age was much worse than doing nothing. Drinking is more exciting when it is illegal. So many people go out and get more drunk simply because they know they should not be drinking at all. With the drinking age raised, other behaviors problems increased too. Before the law forty-six percent of students reported vomiting after drinking rapidly changes to fifty percent once the drinking age was raised to twenty-one. Also the percent of students involved in fights while drinking raised from twelve percent to seventeen percent (Engs 2). When people under the age of twenty-one get a hold of alcohol they are drinking irresponsibly because they are not sure when they’ll have the chance again.
If we are considered an adult and expected to act like one at age eighteen, it isn’t right to be restricted to a drinking age of twenty-one. At eighteen people can drive cars, fly planes, marry, vote, pay taxes, take out loans and risk our lives as members of the U.S. armed forces, but laws in all fifty states say that no alcoholic beverages may be sold to anyone until that magic "twenty-one" birthday. Who says that twenty-one is the magical age that makes one intelligent and mature enough to consume alcohol? Surely some adults abuse alcohol, but most teenagers would be perfectly able to drink responsibly. While twenty-one may be the legal drinking age in the U.S., no scientific evidence exists proving this is the age at which young people can safely begin drinking alcohol. “When drinking is made legal for anyone under the age 21 and over the age 18, drinking takes place in public. It can then be supervised by police, security guards and health workers as well (“15 reasons...” 2).” With drinking taking place in public, the rate of people that are effected by alcohol poison will decrease, because there will be responsible people around to control it. People would then be more responsible while drinking alcohol.
Eighteen should be the legal drinking age in Maine. Laws are made to help society. This is one law that needs to be reconsidered. It is about time we take a second look at this law.

Works Cited
Engs, Ruth C. “Why the drinkin age should be lowered, and opinion based upon research.”
Indiana.edu. 20 Mar. 1998. 14 Oct. 2011 <https://www.indiana.edu/~engs/articles/cqoped.html>.
“15 reasons why drinking age should be 18.” cognac.com. 6 Oct. 2011
<http://cognac.com/15-reasons-why-driniking-age-should-be-18/>.
“60minutes” CBSNews.com. 18 Oct. 2011
<https://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/02/19/60minutes/main48/3571.shtml>

Cited: Engs, Ruth C. “Why the drinkin age should be lowered, and opinion based upon research.”   Indiana.edu. 20 Mar. 1998. 14 Oct. 2011 &lt;https://www.indiana.edu/~engs/articles/cqoped.html&gt;. “15 reasons  why drinking age should be 18.” cognac.com. 6 Oct. 2011 &lt;http://cognac.com/15-reasons-why-driniking-age-should-be-18/&gt;. “60minutes” CBSNews.com. 18 Oct. 2011 &lt;https://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/02/19/60minutes/main48/3571.shtml&gt;

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