Should US Lower the Drinking Age to 18?

Why should the United States lower its drinking age? If they lower the drinking

age in US is there any safe environment left? In United States, it is legal for an 18-

year-old to drive, marry , vote or serve in the military but illegal for him or her to

drink a beer, this illogical situation is significant. As a result, the overwhelming

response of young people has not been compliance but contempt for the law. In

every country, the drinking age is 18 years old, except in the United States. When

people start drinking in early ages like 18 or 19 , they are starting to learn how to

control themselves and how to resist alcohol. The legalization of drinking alcohol

under 21 will have a lot of benefits for teenagers.

The drinking age in United States was raised to 21 in the mid 1980’s,

the goal was to reduce highway fatalities. But everyone knows that the 21 age

limit hasn’t stopped minors from drinking.  And now some experts believe it’s

actually contributing to an increase in extreme drinking. According to Jeffrey M.

Jones (2014) who is the Gallup Poll managing editor, wrote an article about why

the US should lower the drinking age. “Despite the progress made in reducing traffic

deaths involving alcohol, drunk driving remains a factor in many automobile

fatalities. Also, one of the major concerns with alcohol today is binge drinking

among young adults, and it is not clear that having a higher drinking age helps in

that regard. Rather, some experts suggest lowering the drinking age, and

teaching teens and young adults to drink responsibly at a younger age. This will

help to reduce the allure of alcohol to those forbidden by law to possess it.” Like

he said lowering drinking age will teach adolescents how to drink alcohol.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, everyday 28 people in

the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired

driver. This amounts to one death every 53 minutes. And when we look at the list

of countries by traffic related death rate, United States has most car

accidents in the world.

In the United States, if you are 17 years old, you are eligible to join the military, at

the age of 14 to 18 you can get your drivers license, when you turn 14 years old,

you can start earning your own money. In addition, 18 year olds can vote to decide

their country’s future. Therefore, an 18 year old should be able to make his or her

own decisions about the consumption of alcohol. It doesn’t prevent most teens from

drinking, as a poll of thousands of 18 years old in 2006 found that 72% had tried

alcohol. That means making the age limit 21 one doesn’t help. On the contrary it

encourages teens to drink more. According to John McCardell “Ninety-five

percent of those who will be alcohol consumers in their lifetime take their first

drink before age 21, fifty percent of 18- to 20-year-olds consume alcohol

regularly and seventy-five percent of high school seniors, 60 percent of high

school sophomores, and 40 percent of eighth graders have consumed alcohol.”

As we can see in United States teenagers are drinking illegally.Lowering the

drinking age will make them learn how to drink alcohol and decrease the car

accidents , rapes, assaults and the injuries. According to McCardell “National

estimates suggest that among full-time college students, 690,000 are involved in

assaults, 97,000 are involved in rapes, and 599,000 are injured as a result of alcohol.”

So lowering drinking age will be helpful for the country and helpful for the

adolescents futures.
All 50 US states have set their minimum drinking age to 21 although

exceptions do exist on a state-by-state basis for consumption at home, under

adult supervision, for medical necessity, and other reasons. Lowering the

drinking age, not only would this incur the benefits for teenagers, it will also

benefit the United States economy. If more people can go to bars, liquor stores,

clubs then an entire new demographic would appear for the owners of these

establishments. They would increase profits greatly and could really have the

chance to rise in their respected markets. The tax dollars generated from this

new e consumer could also be used to better the United States in a number of ways.

By the way , government can give some mandatory classes to teenagers under 21

to teach the dangers of alcohol use. The alcohol use and learning the danger

classes can be compulsory for the adolescents.
Although many people believe the drinking age should stay at 21 because people

tend to be more mature and responsible at 21 than 18. 18-year-olds are typically

entering a new phase of independence from their parents through college or the

workforce, and are more susceptible to binge drinking, risky sexual activity, and other

irresponsible behavior due to lack of maturity. But as we can compare the sexual

assaults, car accidents and the other dangerous situations caused by drinking alcohol

in Europe and United States, there is not a huge difference between them. The

drinking age is changing from country to country in Europe some of them start at the

age of 16 some of them start at the age of 18 but the low drinking age assumes
teenagers are mature and responsible enough to moderate their drinking habits.

To conclude, the United States calls “adults” to people who are at the age of 18,

but adults are limited to the amount of freedom they can have and the freedom to

make their own decisions. The government sends them to military, gives them a

chance to vote, allows them to marry or work but they don’t have the freedom to

drink. If they can have the aforementioned rights, they should be able to decide

whether to drink alcohol or not.

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