Minimum Legal Drinking Age

1882 Words8 Pages
Alcohol seems to be an important part of daily life for many people. It's a substance associated with having fun amongst friends and family. Fortunately, certain laws help to protect us against the dangers that alcohol potentially brings upon our society. Although a section of the population argues for lowering the drinking age to 18, there have been many benefits with keeping it at 21. The main purpose of setting the Minimum Legal Drinking Age at 21 is to provide safety for the public, which should be the primary responsibility of the government. Despite popular belief, the drinking age was not only set to prevent teens from drinking and making bad decisions. It was set at 21 years because teenagers can develop serious health issues from consuming…show more content…
When the Minimum Legal Drinking Age changed to 21 years old in 1976, there was a decrease in fatal car accidents which saved approximately 21,887 lives (Alcohol Policy MD). Many lives were saved because there were less young drinkers and less people driving under the influence of alcohol. If it were possible to save lives, why wouldn’t you want to do that? An argument is made that if teenagers are allowed the responsibility to drive when they are 16 years old why can’t they drink at an earlier age? This is simply because Alcohol can put people in danger. Drunk driving seems to be a black spot of our civilization. An average of 17,000 individuals die each year in drunk driving related accidents, and drunk driving continues to be an enormously important public safety issue (MADD). With lowering this drinking age we can only expect more cases of drunk driving and more lives are put in danger. 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. The evidence shows, however, that although many youth still consume alcohol, they still drink less and experience fewer alcohol-related injuries and deaths (Wagenaar, 1993). There is also an argument comparing the European alcohol and drunk diving among the youth compared to the United
Open Document