By a show of hands, how many people in this classroom are under the age of 21? As you look around the classroom, you will see that all of you are under this age. Now think to yourself, even though you are under the age of 21, does it mean that no one in this classroom has ever tried alcohol? According to Prof. Rosenberg from the Psychological Bulletin 1993, alcohol is the most serious problem facing teenagers. We are all students in high school and most likely gone to a party with alcohol. Being a high school student and under the age of 21, I have researched this topic of underage drinking because I thought this issue would be extremely beneficial to all of us since we are in high school & will most likely be going through experiences involving alcohol. Today I'm here to convince you to think twice about picking up that next bottle of alcohol. First, I will talk about why teenagers should not have alcohol. Next, I'll discuss why teens are not responsible enough to drink and lastly I'll explain how alcohol is not good for your health.
Let's begin by talking about why teenagers should not have alcohol. Underage drinking is illegal in all 50 states. The tolerance that police have for a teenager drinking and driving is absolutely zero. Most parents who find out that their child has been drinking are not pleased with it. Underage drinking is a crime. It is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable with a maximum sentence of 6 months incapacitation and a $1000.00 fine. Not only is underage drinking against the law, but it is endangering the person's life, as well as others, especially at parties. As you can see on this survey from the George Mason Univ. & West Chester Univ. in 1997, alcohol was involved in more than two-thirds of all the crime incidents last year that occurred. This survey involved 330 students throughout the country. From the PSU Police Safety Services, the actual offenses of liquor in 2000 were 125 people and 169 people that were arrested due to liquor.
Now that I have explained why teens should not have alcohol, I will explain to all of you why we are not responsible enough to drink. Teenagers are not responsible enough to drink. When people drink they use poor judgment, and when underage people drink it is even worse. So the more you drink, the more judgment you lose. For example, according to Prof. Rosenberg from the By: Sandra Rodriguez
Psychological Bulletin in 1993, 90% of all rapes involving drinking is 68% of manslaughter convictions and 63% of assaults that involve alcohol. Imagine this situation of your best friend driving home from your house one night. And on the way home, your friend meets some person who decided to drink too much and your friend and the other driver crash head on. The underage drunk driver survives, while your best friend is killed. So what happened to the drunk driver's judgment? It is in his 15 empty beer cans at the party. Officer Dean Wilson, executive director of the National Organizations, has calculated that every 15 minutes someone in the U.S. dies as the result of an alcohol related traffic collision.
Now I will explain how alcohol is harmful to your health. Anyone who drinks has the chance of seriously hurting his or her body. This can happen in several ways. Alcohol is a drug that can cause: liver damage, cancer, heart damage or even death. Women who consumer alcohol during pregnancy is at risk delivering a child with fetal alcohol syndrome. A person who drinks on a regular basis tends to look older faster. So just think to yourself, drinking alcohol may seem good when you are 18 and want to look 21, but what happens when you turn 30 and look like your 50. How good is it then? As John Carvel, the spokesperson for the charity Alcohol Concern said: "Alcohol reinforces our belief that there needs to be much more emphasis on education and prevention in terms of making people more aware of the dangers of alcohol misuse. Young bodies are just not made for drinking alcohol."
Now that I have gone over all the facts, let's go back over what I've spoke about today. I've explained to you why drinking underage is harmful to teenagers. We talked about why teenagers should not have alcohol, then we discussed why teenagers are not responsible enough to drink, and finally we discussed how alcohol is harmful to your health. I encourage you to learn all that you can about underage drinking and think about what I have said to you today. I also urge you to think before you drink! Now I will end this speech with a question that I would like for all of you to think about, Is being accepted into a group, loosening up in an uncomfortable position, and escaping the pressures of everyday life worth the risks and consequences that are in effect after the first, sip, funnel, or bottle of alcohol? Is it really worth it?