There are many benefits to having a lowered drinking age, which I will explain in this letter. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), about 1 in 10 teens in high school drink and drive. This is a lot. The CDC also states that young drivers are 17 times more likely to die in a crash when they have a blood alcohol level of .08 or above compared to when they haven’t been drinking; however, there is still some good news. Teen drinking
The main argument of Laura Dean-Mooney is that the 21 law saves lives because the number of people killed in crashes since the law was enacted has been cut in half. The number of crashes “ has been cut in half, from more than 5,000 individuals in the early 1980s to around 2,000 in 2005”(Dean Mooney 5). Another argument made was that the effects of alcohol are magnified when a teenager’s brain is still developing, “alcohol negatively affects all parts of the brain, include cognitive and decision-making abilities as well as coordination and memory”(Dean-Mooney 9). Dean-Mooney implies that since the legal drinking age has been 21, this law is the most studied in history. She highlights that scientific studies found the 21-year-old law saves lives on and off the road.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration estimates that about 900 lives are saved annually due to fewer alcohol-related traffic crashes involving underage drivers. Surely, it should be a priority for the society to minimize the death toll from drunk driving. A higher Minimum Legal Drinking Age (MLDA) is effective in preventing alcohol-related deaths and injuries among teenagers and youth. When the MLDA has been lowered, injury and death rates increase, and when the MLDA is increased, death and injury rates decline (Wagenaar, 1993). In addition, a common argument among opponents of a higher MLDA is that because many minors still drink and purchase alcohol, the policy isn't working on minors.
If states did not comply with the act, then the federal government would cut off 10% of that state’s federal highway construction funds. So, the real debate is for the MLDA 21 to be abolished so that states are able to decide whether the legal drinking age should be lowered on a state by state basis and without the fear of dampening their federal funding. In order to keep young adults safe and drug free, the legal drinking age must be kept at 21 years of age or older. Those who fight for MLDA 21 to be abolished argue that lowering the drinking age to 18 is reasonable because at that point U.S. citizens are adults and deserve to have the right to make their own decisions, including drinking alcohol responsibly. One of the most common arguments is, “If I'm old enough to die for my country, I'm old enough to drink a beer.” This is a valid argument, but allowing newly legal adults the ability to drink also gives them access into places such as bars and nightclubs.
“Huh…that’s interesting,” Zecker said. He was pondering a possibility that UMass has not yet explored in order to draw more people to games: selling alcohol. The lack of alcohol could be a major reason the typical UMass game at McGuirk or Mullins may be full of empty seats. The sale of alcohol on university grounds during sporting events is not illegal; according to USA Today, 32 college football stadiums and multipurpose arenas have recently become wet as of 2014. There’s a potentially major incentive to start selling alcohol in terms of attendance.
Numerous debates still occur today about the minimum drinking age. A poll taken on July 2014 asked the public opinion of US adults for lowering the US legal drinking age from 21 to 18. Approximately 74% of the people opposed the idea, whereas roughly 25% of the people supported the idea ("Public Opinion" 1). The statistics indicate satisfaction among the majority of the people; however, with the current laws many issues arise that must be addressed concerning alcohol use. For starters, studies show an increase of dangerous drinking habits among young adults (Hall 2).
If students are able to leave, it puts them at risk in many ways, as it is harder to regulate their safety and they may be attacked or hit by other vehicles while walking or driving around. In the United States, there was research done examining the difference in vehicles crashes for teens in counties with and without open-campus policies during lunchtime. The results showed how crash rates during lunch hours were significantly higher for teenagers at districts with open-campus policies, also accounting how this districts had no elevated crash risk during other time periods. “Crash rates over the lunch hours were significantly higher for teenagers,” is exactly what Lorraine Stone stated, the author for this research. We clearly see how accidents are a threat to the students health if the open campus policy was allowed.
Even though motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 15-20 year olds, the minimum driving age should not be raised. Driving restrictions placed on young drivers only delay fatal crashes, and studies show that recklessness is not the cause for most teen collisions; it is simple mistakes. When teens begin driving, they enter the graduated licensing program that imposes certain restrictions which lessen as the drivers become older and more experienced. A nationwide study shows that these laws have reduced fatal crashes amongst 16-year olds but increased fatalities amongst 18-year olds.
Over the last twenty-two years, there have been more than 130,000 fatal teen crashes. Though these teenagers are legal, trained drivers, what is a solution to reduce the number of lives lost due to these lethal car crashes? Scientists believe that the solution to reducing the amount of deaths would be to raise the driving age and enforce stricter driving laws. Parents, however, are against raising the driving age as they would have to drive their teenager to the movies for a longer period of time. Thus, the driving age should be raised to twenty due to the maturity of people’s brains and understanding of consequences rather than depending on emotions and desires.
In this case, the approaches will involve reducing the supply of alcohol to underage college students, increasing the enforcement of drinking laws and promotion on campus, and no-alcohol social activities should take place on campus (Zimmeran, 1997). The ‘bottom up’ approach gives the students an opportunity to give solutions towards a problem that they may feel that needs awareness (Larimer and Cornce, 2002). The gap in this literature is the lack of knowledge of binge drinking amongst college students dealing with health issues and academic