Lowering The Drinking Age
The era of prohibition lasted for few days and was proofed unsuccessful mechanism to control the social practices of Americans. However, the alcohol drinking age has remained the subject matter in policymaker’s decisions and endeavors. While the legally accepted drinking age has remained fixed at twenty one in the United States of America, many nations have revised the policy to have a broader control over the sale of alcoholic beverages. Although this policy is viable in raising a healthy nation, it is not conducive to a democratic republic which teaches freedom and liberty for all its over eighteen years’ citizens and therefore, rendering the present drinking age instinctively defective.
Arguments on Drinking Age
Despite the religious and social beliefs, there are several arguments which strongly support the present drinking age in America. The main argument in support of higher legal drinking age is that it helps to reduce road accidents caused by the dunked youth. However, if road safety is really the focal concern, then it is more helpful to rise the legal driving age. Nevertheless, nations which hold both driving and drinking age at eighteen years have safer highways compared to America.
Neuroscience at least have made a reasonable argument that, keeping the legal drinking age at twenty one assists to ensure no legal drinkers in high school. This is vital because alcohol particularly at adolescence stage damages the student brain which increases the possibility of future addiction and abuse.
However, keeping legal drinking age at twenty one put the universities and colleges in the challenging situation which requires them to educate a generation of drinkers whereby half are legally allowed to take alcoholic beverages while the other half is not. This results to vast illegal alcohol consumptions in campus which is not monitored or regulated, and thus can easily result to drinking problems.
Solutions to Illegal Drinking
Therefore, the only lasting solution which can help to settle this problem of illegal drinking among the young people is lowering the legal drinking age to eighteen years and ensure proper enforcement mechanism are used. The present system that forbids American under-twenty one from purchasing and consuming alcohol is broadly flouted with hazardous consequences.
The youth should be taught how to drink responsibly before they achieve the legal drinking age set by the government. Moreover, educating these young people on the risks associated with excessive alcohol consumption is more important than keeping the drinking age at twenty one. Adults should help adolescents to change their view on risky indulge drinking as a rite of passage.
Lowering the Legal Drinking Age to 18
The legal drinking age in the United States is set at twenty-one years of age. I believe that considering twenty-one as the legal age of maturity is ridiculous. Who is to say that just because an individual is twenty-one means that they are mature enough to consume alcohol in a responsible manner? Changing the legal drinking age to eighteen should be enforced. Eighteen year-old individuals can take on many adult responsibilities, but they do not have the right to consume alcohol. Many feel this is unfair and biased. There is a tremendous controversy over whether to keep the legal drinking age at twenty-one, or to lower it to the legal age of adulthood, 18.
Congress passed the National Minimum Purchase Age Act in 1984. This law was passed to encourage each state to change their legal drinking age to twenty-one years of age. The congress believed that if they raised the minimum drinking age that it would save a significant number of lives. They figured that a twenty-one year old person was more mature than the average eighteen year-old. That, in my opinion, was a huge mistake. Just because a person lives to be twenty-one does not determine how mature they are. For example, there are many teenagers in the world that are considerably more mature than the average twenty-one year-old. The determination of legality in drinking should not be age, but rather maturity and ability to handle responsibility.
The twenty-one restriction seems out of date in todayâs society. Many parents of todayâs teenagers were legally allowed to drink at the age of eighteen. Todayâs teenagers face more responsibility and are treated much differently from the way their parents were treated. If twenty-one is considered so mature, then why is eighteen considered an adult? At the age of eighteen, an individual can vote, serve on a jury, stay out without a curfew, leave home, drive, smoke, buy weapons, engage in financial contracts, fornicate, start a family, be sent to adult prison, join the army, and die for this country. If an eighteen year-old can be held to so many responsibilities, then it seems unfair to say that they are not old enough to drink. At eighteen, a person can even have a closed container of alcohol in their possession, but they cannot drink it. That is absurd! Setting the legal age to purchase and consume alcohol is unrealistic in todayâs way of life. Prohibiting the sale of alcohol to people under the age of twenty-one may cause habits such as binge drinking and alcohol abuse. It just causes a rebellion. Keeping the age at twenty-one makes it seem as if an eighteen year-old is not a real adult. Drinking is then viewed as a glamorous activity since it is only for adults. Then, in rebellion, those underage will just find a way around it. For example, many have fake identification cards, steal alcohol from their parentsâ liquor cabinets, or even put another person in jeopardy by asking someone whom is twenty-one to illegally purchase the alcohol for the underage drinkers. This kind of deceitful attitude does not encourage responsible drinking habits. In addition, this gives young individuals the urge to drink even more when they get older so that they could make up for their so-called lost time, hence causing alcoholism.
The argument against changing the legal drinking age has many issues. Studies show that there was a thirteen- percent decline in the number of single-vehicle nighttime crashes among eighteen through twenty year-olds after the drinking age was raised to twenty-one. I believe that there will always be people that will drink and drive, and there is nothing anyone can do to completely stop it. The answer is not to raise the drinking age, but rather to educate more thoroughly the dangers of drinking alcohol to the youth. The United States is one of the few countries with such a prohibitive drinking age. In Europe, teenagers learn how to drink gradually, not excessively. In France, Spain and Portugal, the per capita consumption of alcohol is greater than in the United States, but the rate of alcoholism and alcohol abuse is still lower. That is the effect of educated and gradual drinking.
Learning how to drink in a safe and moderate manner is more important than worrying about the age of the individual. I believe that the arguments that were made as far as the number of car crashes there were after the legal drinking age was raised was merely a coincidence. People of all ages get into car accidents. Instead of restricting the eighteen year-old adults, the government should set up ways to better educate the public of the dangers and responsibilities that come with drinking. The arguments against lowering the age of the National Minimum Purchase Age Act are insufficient compared to the benefits of having the drinking age changed to eighteen. Since the number twenty-one has no real basis of maturity, the government should have kept the legal drinking age where it was and kept the public educated rather than taking a right away from the adults under the age of twenty-one.
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