Should the U.S. Legal Drinking Age be lowered from 21 to 18 Years of Age? Alcohol is considered the drug of choice for many American youth. Statistics provide that there are more than 10.1 million underage drinkers in the U.S. with 85 percent of college students and 72 percent of 12 graders having tried alcohol. As a result, underage drinking contributes to death from injuries, increases the risk of sexual and physical assault, as well as playing a role in risky sexual behavior. However, there have been increasing debates over whether the minimum legal drinking age should be reduced from 21 years to 18 years.
The Effects of Lowering the Drinking Age According to Carla T. Main in “Underage Drinking and the Drinking Age” from The Tennessee Electronic Library, the legal drinking age shouldn’t be reduced in result of all of the things that occur due to underage drinking. She talks about how institutions could help by having discussions with the college students about responsible drinking. When the drinking age was lowered between 1970 and 1976, the results were catastrophic. The highway deaths among teenagers and young adults skyrocketed.
Should the Drinking Age Be Lowered? Eighteen, that magical age, everyone has dreamed about turning. The number eighteen is significant in America because it is when teenagers are finally given the chance to become independent. Finally, you are no longer viewed as a child in the America, but as an adult. You can finally enjoy the same rights and privileges as other adults.
First reason the drinking age should not be lowered to eighteen is because of the obvious health issues. The brain is still developing in an adolescent which not only makes them more vulnerable to the toxic effects of alcohol but can also cause irreversible brain damage. Neuroscientist Susan Tapert conducted a study and compared the brain scans of adolecesents that drank and the scans that didn’t drink, the drinkers “appeared to have a number of little dings throughout their brains ' white matter, indicating poor quality, and poor quality of the brain 's white matter indicates poor, inefficient communication between brain cells. ”(qtd. in Trudeau) Alcohol does the most damage to the frontal lobe which is part of the brain that is responsible for planning, forming ideas, using self control and making decisions.
The drinking age used to be 18. Many people wish that it would go back to that. Mary Kate Cary of the US News and World Report wrote an article talking about lowering the drinking age. “There was no need for “pregaming” – binge drinking in private apartments or dorms before heading out in public” says Cary. If the drinking age was lowered we would not have to worry about college students buying and selling fake IDs, distributing alcohol to minors, and less turning to drugs because drugs are easier to get than alcohol.
The drinking age in the State of Texas should remain at the federally mandated age of 21. The idea of this age was put in place to assist in keeping those younger individuals safe from the harmful effects of alcohol, and 21 is still the point when an individual should begin consuming such beverages. To continue to keep the public safe, the drinking age should be kept at 21 because the brain is still developing, lowering the age would give younger individuals easier access to alcohol, and lowering the age would be more dangerous on and off the road. Before the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984, people thought the brain fully developed by age 18. With this understanding of the brain, it makes sense to allow those 18 and older to consume
Should the U.S raise the minimal dirking age to 25 While Americans of all ages use alcohol for nearly the same reasons; fun, stress relieving and social compactness, the consequences related to alcohol use are seriously injurious. Drinking is one of the traditions upheld for centuries, not only in America but globally, and even though it may be socially acceptable, the aftermath has triggered various responses from people even among those who hardly consume alcohol. Several studies have been conducted regarding the after effects of alcohol consumption in relation to the age of drinkers. As a result, the debate over the minimal legal drinking age being altered from the current 21 years has received differing opinions. The question still has not reached a consensus: Should the U.S rise drinking age to 25?
The debate over what age should be legal for a person to drink has been going on for a long while now. The talk of lowering the drinking age has been because many young people in today’s society believe that since they are adults at the age of 18, then they should be able to decide when they themselves should be able to purchase and consume alcohol. A lower drinking age would have a worse affect rather than a pleasing one, so it would be more beneficial to keep it as it is rather than changing it. Some of the benefits of keeping the drinking age as it is would be: less drunk driving accidents, less brain damage and better decision making.
In the 1980s, the United States raised the Minimum Legal Drinking Age (MLDA) to 21, from 18, in an attempt to protect the nation 's youth. This placed the USA among the few countries whose drinking age is above 18. This leads to an important question on whether our democracy should lower the MLDA. Underage drinking facts, international drinking ages, enforcement of underage drinking laws, as well as proposed implications of new laws justify lowering the drinking age. The democracy of the United States of America should lower the MLDA, and adopt a graduated licensing system.
“ [The drinking age] is unfavorable because it forces youth to consume alcohol in unsupervised places that are risky and consumption may be abused.” The idea is, if the drinking age is lowered, youth will be able to drink in open, public places that can be supervised by others. By being public, it would decrease the risky behavior seen with alcohol in private, unsupervised settings. Pomata also asserts, “The age restriction inspires undesirable activities just as the National Prohibition Act did.” Some undesirable activities that are associated with underage drinking include the making and distributing of fake ID’s.
One proposed solution to this problem is lowering the minimum legal drinking age(MLDA) to 18 years old. To many, this may seem like a counterintuitive idea but, research has shown that it might just work. In fact, lowering the drinking age might actually lead to less drinking among 18-20 year olds as they would be drinking in establishments such as bars and restaurants instead of in fraternity houses and at college parties, where binge drinking is more likely to occur. When drinking has to be hidden there is a greater incentive to drink as much as possible because it might be weeks before the next big party, but when drinking is something that can be done whenever one pleases just by going to a restaurant, it is much more likely that college
The drinking age in America is currently set to the age of twenty-one, but should it really be? Day-after-day people abuse this law and partake in underage drinking; however, these people who abuse the law are considered adults. Eighteen, nineteen, and twenty-year-old citizens are given the responsibilities of being an adult, should they not also be given the rewards of being an adult? That is why the drinking ages should be lowered from the age of twenty-one to the age of eighteen.
Drugs such as alcohol have an effect on all users, regardless of their age; however, alcohol has an especially harmful effect on teens since their bodies are still developing. Studies have shown that alcohol has numerous negative effects on a teen’s body and mental health; for example, a study conducted by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention stated that “alcohol consumption affects the brain’s frontal lobes, which is essential for functions such as emotional regulations, planning, and organization” (“Age”). Teens already have high emotions and difficulties planning and organizing; alcohol will only enhance teens’ struggle. The Center of Disease Control and Prevention also found that alcohol consumption at a young age can potentially cause chronic problems such as memory loss, depression, suicidal thoughts, and poor decision making (“Age”). Teens have a difficult enough time making decisions and organizing their lives, but adding alcohol to the mix will only make matters worse; their bodies are still developing, and they are still learning to be adults.
Frat parties, for example, serve booze, often, if not always, without the supervision of a responsible adult (aka an adult over the age of 21). Lowering the drinking age to 18 can be beneficial in that responsible drinking can be taught before the student turns 21. My favorite analogy, by Huffington Post writer, Elizabeth Glass Geltman, says, “We don’t have students teach each other how to drive, why is alcohol different?” In her article on Huffington Post, she talks about her college experience in the 70s and early 80s, where the legal drinking age in the US was 18. She talks about how drinking was legal for most students in her senior year of high school and in college, and that beer was commonly served at dances, proms, graduation events, etc.