Lower Drinking Age
Today we live in a country that prides itself on being free, although there are a number of people that feel they do not have as much freedom as they deserve, such as the freedom to drink at a younger age. The legal drinking age should be lowered to the age of 18, where in the eyes of the law you are seen as an adult. Many different opinions are opened as the subject of lowering the legal drinking age is brought up. For most, if not all, teenagers in high school a situation that has to do with consuming alcohol has been put in front of them.
A lot of the time this type of situation leads to illegally drinking underage. At this point these minors know that what they are doing and that it is completely illegal. When knowing they cannot drink all the time and have an opportunity to they take the drinking up to the next level. This is when the paths of social drinkers and binge drinkers cross and can become very dangerous. When someone drinks too much other people around them realize and don’t want to be in trouble for underage drinking so they tend to leave that person so they don’t get hit by the consequences.
That situation is exactly the reason there are so many deaths in result from underage drinking. People may fight for a lowered drinking age for that exact reason. This side of reasoning makes people want the drinking age lowered because teens won’t be scared to get in trouble when trying to get help for a friend or just a fellow partier. There are also many other reasons why the legal drinking age should be lower. Many people say a teen is not responsible enough to drink alcohol so they shouldn’t be allowed to.
This argument gets completely erased with the fact that 18 year olds have the ability to serve in the military and can even vote for the countries leader. These two facts alone show that they are responsible enough to make their own decisions as to what the can and want to do. As the responsibility factor gets pushed to the side it is then said that someone that is 18 does not have the tolerance as someone that is 21 does. This fact is proven completely false because tolerance has nothing to do with your age.
The best way that people gain tolerance is by experience so the more experience you have with something the more tolerance you have. If you start your experience at a younger age while you still have a watchful eye over you such as parents and guardians you may be less likely to mess up because you want to prove to them that you have the ability to live in the real world. With no one watching over you while beginning a new experience you are more likely to make a mistake and pay for it.
With more supervision the number of alcohol related problems, as serious as deaths, will decrease. This is proven in other places around the world such as Italy, China and even Greece. In these places the legal drinking age is lower and so is the amount of alcohol related incidents. This fight is not only pushed by the population of underage drinkers but also by the main places this crime is done, Colleges and Universities. Many presidents from major colleges want the age lowered because the current laws encourage dangerous binge drinking on campus.
“This is a law that is routinely evaded,” said John McCardell, former president of Middlebury College in Vermont. “It is a law that the people at whom it is directed believe is unjust and unfair and discriminatory. ” With a legal drinking age under 21 the regulation of alcohol in colleges and universities will be around. This will help them make sure that less students are getting overly intoxicated. As the colleges and universities keep the number of intoxicated students down with their supervision they also keep the possibility of injuries and deaths down as well.
There are also many opinions that are on the side of keeping the legal drinking age at 21 years of age. One of the major and to some the only valid reason for states to keep the legal drinking age at 21 is the National Minimum Drinking Age Act. This act was put into place in 1984. “The 1984 National Minimum Drinking Age Act, [23 U. S. C. § 158], requires that States prohibit persons under 21 years of age from purchasing or publicly possessing alcoholic beverages as a condition of receiving State highway funds.
A Federal regulation that interprets the Act excludes from the definition of “public possession,” possession “for an established religious purpose; when accompanied by a parent, spouse or legal guardian age 21 or older; for medical purposes when prescribed or administered by a licensed physician, pharmacist, dentist, nurse, hospital or medical institution; in private clubs or establishments; or to the sale, handling, transport, or service in dispensing of any alcoholic beverage pursuant to lawful employment of a person under the age of twenty-one years by a duly licensed manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer of alcoholic beverages”, [23 C.F. R. § 1208. 3]. ”
This act helped keeping the legal drinking age in all states at 21 by imposing a penalty if the age were to drop under 21. This penalty states that 10 percent of a state’s federal highway appropriation on any state setting its drinking age lower than 21 will be taken away. That is a lot of money needed by states to keep their roads in the best shape that they can for us driving on them. Another reason to keep alcohol illegal for minors is because of its association with destructive or violent behavior.
These behaviors range through a variety of offenses from fighting to robbery to drunk driving. All of which have the ability to hurt or even kill someone without the intent to when first making these decisions. The legal drinking age will always be an ongoing debate in our country. This will be whether the age is lowered, kept the same or even a possibility of rising. People of all ages and backgrounds will fight for their honest opinion with this argument.