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Should the Drinking Age Be Lowered?

By jennieluv6 Apr 16, 2012 777 Words
There has been a question looming for years on whether or not the drinking age should be dropped down from 21 to 18. Many people have views or opinions on what the legal drinking age should or should not be. Right now the legal drinking age is 21, and many people, especially a younger crowd, are working extremely hard to change that to 18. All over the world, different countries have a different standard which leads to a different drinking age. There is a reason why the United States has put the legal drinking age at 21. This was to ensure that there will be no underage drinking, which today has clearly not been the best idea because underage drinking happens more and more frequently. The legal drinking age differs from country to country, seeing as the United States has a drinking age of 21, in Germany the drinking age is 16 (Alcohol Problems and Solutions, www2.potsdam.edu). I lived in Germany for five years, and I was above the drinking age when I moved there as far as the standards which was 16 years old. At the time I was 22, which were also above the standards for the United States. I had an eye opener when I lived there because I was able to compare someone who was from Germany who was 17 or 18 years old and also someone who was from the United States who was in their 20’s. Both legally allowed to drink alcohol according to the law, do you want to guess which one handled their liquor better? Shock of all shocks it was the person from Germany who was 18 years old. I am beginning to wonder if it was the environment that they grew up in, more responsible perhaps. It is no surprise that there are underage people trying to score booze, it’s practically a weekend ritual in many colleges across the United States. A big problem with underage drinking is that many of those that are underage and are engaged in heavy drinking do not understand the affects of what alcohol can do to them. The damage of excessive alcohol drinking to the brain and body can be deadly to anyone, not just an underage drinker. Ogilvie (2011) says “But underage drinking isn't all fun and games. Kids who don't know their limits can drink to the point of alcohol poisoning, and those who feel invincible--as many at that age do--may underestimate the danger of getting behind the wheel”. This is a great statement that describes how excessive alcohol use is not something to mess around with. From my own personal experiences with drinking before the age of 21 and after, I can vouch for the fact that yes, there is something good to say about having the legal drinking age at 21. When I was about 18 years old, I was still living with my parents they would have company over or a party and my parents would allow me to drink when I was under their roof. I would get a little tipsy, and I would act a little goofy and embarrass myself. When I turned 21, I went out with my friends thinking that I was going to “go all out” and get drunk. That didn’t happen, I had a great night and I only had two drinks. There is something to say about waiting to be an appropriate age for the consumption of alcohol, and that is why the United States has laws on it. Is it that people have more maturity at the age of 21 maybe? Living in the United States we are allowed a lot of freedoms, this is why so many people want to live here. There are laws that are put in place for a reason, and these laws are to protect our country. The legal age for drinking is 21, it is not 18, and in my opinion I wouldn’t even be opposed if they raised it to 25. There are too many people who are involved in underage drinking, and I don’t think that changing the legal age to 18 is going to make a difference. Being 18 we have a lot of rights, voting, serving our country, but drinking alcohol is not a privilege that one should be able to take part of.

References
Alcohol Problems and Solutions, Minimum Legal Drinking Ages around the World. Retrieved on April 2, 2012 from

http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/LegalDrinkingAge.html
Ogilvie, Jessica Pauline. (2011, May 30) Pro/Con: Should Legal Drinking Age Be Lowered to 18?. Los Angeles Times. E.1. SIRS Issues Researcher.

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