But while it has succeeded in that, it is also believed that tougher rules, such as DUI rules and seatbelt safety rules have also played a part in this decrease. However, this higher drinking age hasn’t reduced drinking, its only “driven it underground,” Gabrielle Glaser states in her NY Times article. It has been driven underground to the riskiest settings, high school parties and frat parties that are unsupervised. This age raise segregates the drinking away from adults that can model moderation in drinking. If an 18-year-old high school senior is shown by his/her parent(s) how to drink responsibly and in moderation, I believe that it would greatly help in reducing the chance of making bad decisions by overdoing it, such as driving while drinking.
Associations like MADD speak about how the higher MLDA has made the roads safer, but they refuse to admit that it is not the only reason. Before the raising of the MLDA there was a statistic recorded, “Rate of accident and fatalities in the 1980’s decreased less than that of European countries whose legal drinking ages are lower than 21,”( “Drinking Age”). Previously, before the MLDA was raised, traffic incidents relating to alcohol were very scarce; America was a safe place to drive. One factor often forgotten is that, some people are irresponsible and develop bad habits. Therefore someone will always fail to abide by the rules.
She highlights that scientific studies found the 21-year-old law saves lives on and off the road. Dean-Mooney emphasizes the public agrees that “72 percent of adults think that lowering the drinking age would make alcohol more accessible to kids”(Dean-Mooney 3). Another claim of the author it that lowering the drinking age would put more responsibility on the parents and educators. Additionally, she claims that lowering the drinking age would have dangerous long- term effects. Early adolescent drinkers are, “more susceptible to alcoholism”(Dean-Mooney 10).
I wanted to speak about an issue that affects me, and being that I’m a teenager, it does. My proposal for this issue is to change the drinking age to 18 but if this is too arduous to make that leap to 18, at least make it 19 or 20. I think 21 is too long of a gap to make it legal when most teenagers are already exposed to it. Teenagers deal with a lot of stress, whether they are in college or working, they need a stress reliever. Drinking helps them get out of this stress zone and allows them to have a good time.
For starters, studies show an increase of dangerous drinking habits among young adults (Hall 2). In addition, the enforcement of the drinking laws and education on alcohol is insubstantial (Moyse, Fonder 3). Society places laws to protect individuals. The rise of alcohol abuse raises the question if the minimum legal drinking age of 21 secures protection of the people. With proper enforcement of drinking laws in addition to education about alcohol, the minimum legal drinking age of 18 provides a safer drinking culture.
The article from Journal of Health Economics introduces the impact of minimum legal drinking age laws on alcohol consumption, smoking, and marijuana use. The abuse of alcohol is coming with healthy issue and some considerable spillover effects such as risky behavior, criminal activity, and alcohol related traffic injuries and fatalities. The regulation on alcohol availability in the lower the minimum legal drinking age from 21. The opponents of the MLDA of 21 argue that the age limit encourages young adults under age 21 to consume alcohol in an irresponsible manner and that lowering age would help young adults to learn how to drink gradually, safely. Many studies have investigated the effect of the MLDA law on alcohol consumption.
In the article “Alcohol and the Adolescent Brain-Human Studies”, it was argued that heavy drinking has been proven to affect the neuropsychological performance of young people and has impaired the growth of certain areas in the brain. It has also been shown that adolescents who drink alcohol are at a higher risk for brain malfunctioning and blood flow in the brain to be hindered. In the article, Tapert argues 2 main points. The first being that the brain continues to develop until early adulthood and even physically healthy youth can be effected long term if heavy amounts of alcohol are consumed. Animal tests were done where young animals were exposed to alcohol and this interfered with the animal’s normal brain functioning later on in life.
Ideally the drug testing would find individuals positive for drugs and offer them rehabilitation programs. These programs could help them get the support they need to transition back into the workforce drug-free. This would slowly increase the workforce size, increase productivity, and eventually decrease the number of welfare participants with drug problems. It could be cost-effective in the long run. These tests wouldn’t solve all the welfare burden because of people with mental illness or disability, but it would offer healing to those who are addicted to drugs.
Clearly, I want the drinking age to be lowered to a younger age. I believe that by lowering the drinking age, there could be less drunk driving, less dangerous environments and less problems with the law enforcement. I honestly, do not see why it is such a huge deal to lower the drinking age. So many teens drink and I can guarantee you, that they would go ahead and sit up a petition on lowering the drinking age. Also if the drinking age is lowered, there might be less teens underage drinking.
The recommended option is to enforce a healthier drinking culture. The current drinking culture encourages individuals to drink excessively and shames those who do not participate in drinking. As a result, Australians have developed a negative relationship with alcohol that can be reflected in the amount of problems that have arisen in the last decade. In changing the drinking culture by educating young adults and teenagers on how to consume alcohol in a safer way and removing the stigma that not drinking is socially unacceptable, future generations will be brought into a much safer drinking culture. Enforcing a more positive drinking culture has complications that can influence whether it will work.