Underage Drinking in the United States

Topics: Drinking culture, Alcoholism, National Minimum Drinking Age Act Pages: 4 (1193 words) Published: August 28, 2007
In the United States, you are legally considered an adult at the age of eighteen. The United States government will allow you to purchase cigarettes, buy a car, sign a legal contract, vote for the next president, get married, buy a house, and much more. The U.S. government is even able to send you off to war, and have you potentially die for your country, yet you are prohibited to consume any alcohol. The definition of an adult can be defined as a person that has been fully developed and reached the age of maturity as defined by law. As stated by law, anyone at the age of eighteen and above are considered an adult yet the age group between eighteen and twenty are unable to consume alcohol legally.

The United States has the highest drinking age restriction compared to the entire world. According to the International Center for Alcohol Policies, the only country that comes close in comparison in the age restriction of alcohol is Japan and Iceland where it is currently restricted to age of twenty and above. South Korea is trailing behind which set their restriction at the age of nineteen and above, while 43 other countries such as Hong Kong, Jamaica, Mexico, Russia has there alcohol restriction at the age of eighteen while many of the other countries such as China, Nigeria, Vietnam, Poland does not have a drinking age restriction at all.

The objective of the twenty one year old drinking age law is for the protection of minors and young adults from themselves and society. The argument that is presented for such a law is supported by evidence showing that alcohol may have severe effects on the young developing mind. According to the American Medical Association, "Drinking by adolescents and young adults could result in long-term brain damage, including diminishment of memory, reasoning, and learning abilities". The second argument in support for the twenty one year old drinking age law is partially supported by data of potential traffic fatalities that could be...

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Scrivo, Karen Lee. "Drinking on Campus." CQ Researcher 8.11 (1998): 241-264. CQ Researcher Online. CQ Press. Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona, CA. 27 Feb. 2007 .
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Stroh, M. "Younger Drinkers Risk Damaging Brain Cells." Baltimore Sun, Dec.10, 2002: 1A.
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