The drinking age should remain at 21 and not be lowered to 18. There are many reasons why the drinking age should stay at 21.
One reason is that the human brain is not fully developed until a person is in their early 20s. This means that people who drink before their brains are fully developed are more likely to experience problems later in life, such as addiction.
Lowering the drinking age would also increase the number of car accidents. This is because young people are more likely to take risks when they have been drinking.
Finally, lowering the drinking age would send the wrong message to young people. It would tell them that it is okay to drink alcohol, even though it can be very dangerous.
For all of these reasons, the drinking age should remain at 21. This is the best way to protect young people from the dangers of alcohol.
In 1984, the United States Congress threatened states with financial punishment if they did not raise the drinking age to twenty-one. If a state’s drinking age remained below twenty-one, it would lose millions of dollars in federal highway funds (“Drinking Age…”). The National Minimum Drinking Age Act has not stopped teenagers from drinking (“Drinking Age…”).
The drinking age should be lowered back to eighteen because it would help reduce binge drinking rates, unite the drinking culture, and provide a sense of responsibility for eighteen-year-olds.
Binge drinking is defined as “drinking five or more drinks in a row for men, or four or more drinks in a row for women- within about two hours” (Wechsler). When people hear the term “binge drinking” they usually think of college students going out on weekends and getting drunk but that is not always the case. Binge drinking rates are higher among high school students and even some middle school students (“Underage Drinking”). By lowering the drinking age it will give parents a chance to teach their children how to drink responsibly before they leave for college.
Teens are going to drink whether the drinking age is eighteen or twenty one. When teens turned eighteen they were given many responsibilities such as being able to vote, join the military, and get married but not being able to legally drink. “The National Youth Rights Association believes that if you are mature enough to drive a car, sign a contract, or die for your country then you should be allowed to have a beer” (“Should…”).
In most countries around the world the drinking age is eighteen. The United States is one of the only developed countries with a drinking age of twenty one. This creates a double standard because eighteen year olds are considered adults in every other aspect except for drinking.
Lowering the drinking age would provide a sense of responsibility for eighteen year olds. When people turn eighteen they are given many responsibilities and are considered adults but when it comes to alcohol they are still treated like children. “Alcohol is the only drug that we tell young people that it’s illegal to use before they reach a certain age” (Rorabaugh). If eighteen year olds are responsible enough to vote, sign contracts, and serve in the military then they should be allowed to drink.
It has also caused our underage kids to binge drink, justly forcing them to consume in uncontrolled situations. According to a study published by Fox News in 2011, 72.5 percent of all high school students in the United States have consumed alcohol; these youngsters are compelled by law to drink “underground,” according to the report (“Report: Nearly Half…”).
Is this the lifestyle we want for ourselves? Once a person turns 18 in the United States, they are deemed an adult. These eighteen-year-olds are expected to uphold all of the responsibilities and duties that come with adulthood.
We trust them to go to work, pay taxes, serve in the military, sign contracts, get married and bear children. So why not allow them to purchase and consume alcohol? If we are going to trust eighteen-year-olds with such monumental tasks, then surely we can trust them to drink responsibly. Allowing eighteenth-year-olds to drink alcohol in controlled environments would provide a safer setting for consumption.
There would also be an overall decrease in drinking and driving because fewer people would feel the need to “pre-game” before going out to bars or clubs. If the drinking age were lowered, bartenders and servers would be able to refuse service to those who appear intoxicated and would not have to worry about serving minors.
Lowering the drinking age would provide many benefits to our society. It would decrease binge drinking, lower rates of drunk driving, and create a safer drinking environment for all adults. It’s time for our country to take action and lower the drinking age.
The age of eighteen is a critical turning point in life. Some of these decisions may have a significant influence on one’s life; for that reason, why shouldn’t young people be allowed to choose whether or not to drink? The legal ramifications of drinking as an adult are well-known, including both short- and long-term health and legal consequences. If our nation lowered the drinking age from twenty-one to eighteen, it would be more familiar and provide more time and experience for adolescents making crucial life choices rather than learning their first alcoholic beverage.
There are three primary arguments for why the drinking age should remain at twenty-one:
1) It saves lives
2) It reduces crime
3) It protects young people from making bad decisions
The most common argument for why the drinking age should stay at twenty-one is that it saves lives. Traffic fatalities decreased when the drinking age increased. In 1984, the National Minimum Drinking Age Act was passed, which incentivized states to raise their drinking age to 21 by withholding highway funds. From 1982 to 2008, traffic fatalities decreased by 13% among 20- to 24-year-olds and by 16% among 18- to 19- year olds.
A study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that the 21 drinking age saved an estimated 27,000 lives between 1975 and 2009.
The second argument for keeping the drinking age at 21 is that it reduces crime. Underage drinking leads to more crime, including violence. A study in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs found that there was a decrease in violent crime after the drinking age was raised. The study found that for every 1% increase in the proportion of the population aged 21 or older, there was a 0.2% decrease in the rate of violent crime.
The third argument for keeping the drinking age at 21 is that it protects young people from making bad decisions. Young people are more likely to make impulsive decisions and are more likely to suffer from peer pressure.
There are some arguments for lowering the drinking age.
1) It would be more realistic
2) It would allow young adults to drink in a supervised setting
3) It would decrease binge drinking
The most common argument for lowering the drinking age is that it would be more realistic. The current drinking age is not realistic because people under 21 drink anyway. In a National Survey on Drug Use and Health, it was found that 87% of 18- to 20-year-olds reported drinking alcohol in the past year.
A study published in JAMA Pediatrics found that binge drinking rates did not differ between countries with different drinking ages.
The second argument for lowering the drinking age is that it would allow young adults to drink in a supervised setting. Drinking in a supervised setting, like a bar or restaurant, is safer than drinking in an unsupervised setting, like a house party.
The third argument for lowering the drinking age is that it would decrease binge drinking. Binge drinking is defined as four or more drinks in a row for women and five or more drinks in a row for men.
The arguments for keeping the drinking age at 21 are stronger than the arguments for lowering the drinking age. Although some argue that lowering the drinking age would be more realistic, the evidence does not support this claim.