Unfaire Rights

Topics: Alcoholic beverage, Drinking culture, National Minimum Drinking Age Act Pages: 5 (1882 words) Published: February 25, 2013
Eighteen is a big age to turn. It makes the difference in how the world sees us and treats us. At eighteen we can vote on the nation’s president, be tried as an adult, fight for our country, and even win thousands of dollars by buying lottery tickets. So the questions then lie, why are eighteen-year olds are deprived of the right to drink alcohol? Is it politically correct of the government to generalize all teenagers and young adults into a group labeled not trustworthy? If society truly believes that the current drinking age reflects a just representation of the maturity of minors, then how does this level of maturity level lead them to believe that minors are able to help decide the country’s future or risk their lives to defend this nation? The current drinking age of twenty-one constantly mocks young adults and I believe it would better for the country if the drinking age was lowered. For almost half a century, most states voluntarily set their minimum drinking age law at twenty-one. In the late 60s and early 70s, twenty-nine states lowered their drinking age to more closely align with the newly reduced military enlistment and voting age. The results immediately showed a significant increase in drunken driving crashes and alcohol-related fatalities in those states, as-well as the states around them. As a result, sixteen states had to increase their drinking ages back to age twenty-one by 1983. Confronted by the failure of the eighteen minimum drinking ages, President Reagan signed the Uniform Drinking Age Act mandating all states to adopt twenty-one as the legal drinking age within five years. By 1988, all states had set twenty-one as the minimum drinking age (BU Today). But if rising the drinking age to twenty-one was meant to protect the minors and it still doesn’t seem to be working today, why is nothing being done to fix it. It is in my obvious opinion that the drinking age should be lowered though out the entire country, as well as adding some alcohol awareness classes starting at a younger age. Although the legal purchase age is twenty-one-years of age, a large majority of college students consume alcohol underage, but in an irresponsible manner. This is because drinking by these minors is seen as an enticing forbidden fruit, and this rebellion against authority seems to be symbol of adulthood (Drinking Age ProCon). As a nation we have tried prohibition legislation twice in the past for controlling irresponsible drinking problems. This was during National Prohibition in the 1920s and state prohibition during the 1850s. These laws were finally repealed because the negative backlash towards the government made them unenforceable. Today, we are repeating history and making the same mistakes that occurred in the past. Prohibition did not work then and prohibition for people under the age of twenty-one is not working now (BU Today). The United States has the highest minimum drinking age in the world which leaves American minors at a terrible disadvantage. In countries with a low or no national minimum drinking age, teens are introduced to alcohol gradually, moderately, and under the supervision of their parents (Alcohol: Problems and Solutions). U.S. teens, on the other hand, tend to first try alcohol in unsupervised environments, like in cars, motels, dorm rooms, fraternity parties, or house parties when they leave home to go to college (Nakaya). A 2009 study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institute of Health, and United States Department of Health and Human Services revealed that seventy-two percent of graduating high-school seniors had already consumed alcohol. Out of the seventy-two percent, a large majority of students consumed alcohol in unsafe, illegal environments, like at a house party, without parental supervision (BU Today). During alcohol prohibition, we saw how adults who had alcohol taken away under such conditions reacted when they drank way too much and way too fast. It shouldn't...
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