Most people would think that lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18 would be a bad idea. Giving older teens the legal privilege of drinking just doesn’t sound right, but in fact it is a good idea and should be changed. The drinking age should be lowered to 18 for various reasons because turning 18 makes a person an adult in the eyes of the law and adults should be given the choice to consume alcohol. There are many positive and negative aspects when it comes to changing the drinking age which are still in debate. Keeping the age restriction at 21 to stop teens from underage drinking is ineffective and teens are more likely to drink in excess in uncontrolled places when prohibited from the use of alcohol (Ogilvie 2).
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.
I believe that by increasing the driving age teens would have more time to learn how to drive. However, there are many who oppose for raising the driving age to eighteen. One argument on this is that it would not be fair to teenagers who could have been able to drive, but due to raising the age of driving they have to rely on parents or other family member to go anywhere. Another reason they argue with this is, at the age of eighteen teenagers are ready to move foe college or job. So, if they got license before then parents do not have to worry about their kids.
This makes it easier for parents who start work early and families that don't live close to a school. In addition, the main reason that many people are against driving at 16 is because 16-17 year olds are the age group with the most accidents. However, what they don't know, is that the reason behind these accidents is inexperience. If the driving age were indeed raised, there would be just as many accidents. This is because 18 year olds would be inexperienced as well.
Undeniably, it may be the unpopular opinion. However, when thinking about future generations and considering other countries, it may be a way of improvement. When the drinking age is changed to perhaps a moderate age of 19 it allows valuable time for teachers, as well as parents, to educate students about alcohol consumption. Not only this, but it also makes college living, in a sense, more secure. As one article stated,” a drinking age of 21 has put colleges and universities in the difficult position of having to police a population of drinkers, half of whom are legally permitted to drink, and half of whom are not.
If people aged 18 years old are allowed to consume alcohol legally, they would not consider breaking the law just to get their way, or even try to prove a point. This may cause a problem with younger people aged below 18, but that is another story. This can also lower the high rate of non-compliance with MLDA 21, where teenagers tend to get creative, procuring fake IDs and deliberately disrespecting the law. List of Cons of Lowering the Drinking Age Health
With the next big population after the baby boom, there is many teenagers doing underage drinking. That is already a crime itself, but harming others and yourself adds on to why the punishments should be much ascetic. We need to stop the younger generation before they can create the mistakes that hurt everyone. As the generation is young they have much to look forward to; post secondary paths, jobs, family, etc. When the consequence involves a charge as large as murder, no one wants that on their permanent record as it affects their future ability to retain jobs or enter certain programs in the future.
“ [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. If the drinking age is decreased, then there would be no need for such
citizens, but these things are not worth gaining if it means causing much more harm than gain. Lowering the legal drinking age would risk in the health of younger drinkers and could result in much more traffic accidents. Overall, to keep young adults safe in the U.S. we must keep the legal drinking age at 21 years
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.