December 1, 2011
Should the legal drinking age be raised (or lowered)?
Should the drinking age be lowered to eighteen years old, when one is considered an adult, and assumes adult privileges, or should the drinking age remain at twenty-one years old, since people are more mature and therefore, can be safe and responsible with alcohol? I believe that the drinking age should remain at twenty-one years old because lowering the legal age would not be the best interest of the public’s safety, as well as today’s youth. Why the drinking age should not be lowered? Let me explain some reasons why not to lower the drinking age. One is if the drinking age is lowered it will be contributing to more fatal accidents. Second, lowering the drinking age might influence eighteen year olds to buy alcohol for younger teenagers. An third, eighteen year olds may not be mature enough to know their limitations on drinking alcoholic beverages. I also believe that the drinking age should be lowered because when one turns eighteen years old they are considered an adult. At the age of eighteen one is able to make his/her on decision. I have come to the conclusion that the legal drinking age should be changed to eighteen. But drunk driving is the one big factor why people do not want to change the legal drinking age to eighteen years old. In this instance there would be a risk of many more deaths in America due to drunk driving. The reason would be that if underage drinkers could consume alcohol they would not have to be forced to drive from authorities. In the case I would support the legal age of twenty-one. Drunk driving is a very big concern to a lot of people and keeping the age at twenty-one would reduce drunk drivers on the road as opposed to eighteen. If the age were lowered to eighteen there would be less conflict with higher authorities such as parents and police officers. The legal drinking age should be lowered to eighteen years old because at eighteen you are classified as an adult in the eyes of the law. The legal drinking age in Louisiana is currently twenty-one. It was changed from eighteen years old to twenty-one in 1996 when the Federal Government threatened to withhold money for highway construction that the law changed and the minimum age was raised to twenty-one across the board for buying, consuming and selling alcohol. This is a point that has been proven time and again with other things such as prohibition. Just because you make something illegal it does not mean that people are just going to stop doing it. Just because you make something illegal it does not mean that people are just going to stop doing it. Because of the laws many young people learn to drink in unsafe environments. They use alcohol with the intention of getting drunk rather than as an accompaniment to food. In the eighteen, nineteen, and twenty year old range do dangerous binge drinking far more often than the twenty-one who drinks responsibly. I believe that considering twenty-one as the legal age of maturity is foremost ridiculous. Who is to say that just because an individual is twenty-one means that they are mature enough to consume alcohol in a responsible manner? Changing the legal drinking age to eighteen should be forced. Eighteen year old individuals can take on many responsibilities, but they do not have the right to consume alcohol. I feel this is unfair and biased. Just because a person lives to be twenty-one does not determine how mature they are. For example, there are many teenagers in the world that are considerably more mature than the average twenty-one year old. The determination of legal drinking should not be age, but rather maturity and ability to handle responsibility. If twenty-one is considered so mature, then why an eighteen year old is considered an adult? At the age of eighteen, an individual can vote, serve on a jury, stay out without a curfew, leave home, drive, smoke, buy weapons, be sent to adult prisons, and die for this country. If an eighteen year old can be held to so many responsibilities, then it seems unfair to say that they are not old enough to drink. Prohibiting the sale of alcohol to people under the age of twenty-one may cause habits such as binge drinking and alcohol abuse. Binge drinking, or drinking for the purpose of getting drunk, harms both drinkers and nondrinkers. They use bingeing as the get a way that allows them to escape stress. It allows them to forget their worries, fit in with the crowd, and live a fast paced life. Keeping the age at twenty-one makes it seems as if an eighteen year old is not a real adult. Drinking is then viewed as an activity since it is only for adults. Then the underage will just find a way around it. For example, many have fake identification cards, steal alcohol from their parents’, or even put another person in jeopardy by asking someone who is twenty-one to illegally purchase the alcohol for the underage drinkers. This kind of attitude does not encourage responsible drinking habits. In addition, this gives the young individuals the urge to drink even more when they get older so they can make up for their lost time, causing alcoholism. The argument against changing the legal drinking age has many issues. There have been many vehicle crashes among eighteen year olds than twenty-one year olds after the drinking age was raised to twenty-one. I believe that there will always be people that will drink and drive, and there is nothing anyone can do to completely stop it. But people of all ages get into car accidents. Instead of restricting the eighteen year old adults, there should be better ways to educate the eighteen year olds on the dangers and responsibilities that come with drinking. My final reason for why the drinking age should be lowered is that if an eighteen year old is considered an adult and have the same responsibilities as a twenty-one year old they should be able to purchase and consume alcohol and drink as much as they desire only if they are able to control their maturity and take on much more responsibilities as to not drink and drive.