The Legal Drinking Age
Drinking alcohol while under the age of 21 is against the law. Teenagers are drinking at younger age and engaging in risky behaviors while under the influence of alcohol. All high school students and most college students are under 21. Most drink alcohol at least occasionally and many drink frequently and heavily. If anything, they are starting to drink at a younger age, and their drinking patterns are becoming more extreme.
Many young people believe that drinking will make it easier to be part of a group, reduce tension, relieve stress, and help them to forget their worries, or make them more socially confident. But they don’t know the negative effects like loss of control, legal troubles, and health problems. These effects often lead young drinkers to come into contact with police. Alcohol use contributes to property damage, rape and other violent crime on college campuses, and about half of college crime victims have been drinking before the crime occurs. A significant proportion of young drivers killed in car accidents. Further, underage college students who drink heavily are more like to miss class, fall behind in school, sustain an injury, have unplanned or unprotected sex, drive after drinking, or have contact with campus police. Underage drinking is associated with a number of other problems like drunken driving, speeding in residential areas, disorderly conduct in public places, assaults in and around bars, house parties, noise complaints in residential areas.
Underage drinking occurs in an environment by alcohol advertising on television, on billboards, at sporting and music events, and in national and local newspapers. In addition, young people, particularly those in college, are surrounded by outlets that sell alcohol to be consumed elsewhere, or “off premises,” as well as “on premises” outlets such as bars and restaurants. Home is the primary source of alcohol among the youngest drinkers. Some youth take alcohol from...
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