She states, “Why expect 21-year-olds to learn how to drink responsibly without learning from moderate models, at home and in alcohol education programs?” (Glaser par. 6). I believe that educating people on alcohol is one of the most fundamentally solid ways of being more safe around alcohol, lowering the age will give more people this opportunity. While some may not have a responsible guardian to turn to the many that do will result positively in the number of fatalities due to
“Drinking is an emotional thing. It joggles you out of the standardism of everyday life, out of everything being the same.” This was said by Charles Bukowski, who was an American poet, novelist, and short story writer. Drinking is known for being a pleasure for most people, but in America there is an age restriction for that pleasure. On July 17, 1984, The National Minimum Drinking Age Act was passed and it was controversial because it punished every state that allowed persons below 21 years old to purchase and publicly possess alcoholic beverages. One of the primary reasons why this bill was passed was to prevent traffic deaths caused by young drunk drivers.
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.
After 3 years of demonstrating that they can abide alcohol laws and handle alcohol safely, then could then officially receive their licence and earn the same drinking rights as 21 year olds do now. Not only would this benefit young adults, it could benefit our communities by requiring a renewal fee, forcing those who can’t afford the fee, perhaps the homeless, not to purchase alcohol. Junior Sammy Mendoza, when asked about her opinion of the drinking license, said “In my opinion, drinking accidents and bad situations all stem from the lack of knowledge surrounding alcohol. With young adults being properly educated on how to consume alcohol safely, perhaps there would be less alcohol caused crimes and incidents.” Of course this is not going to prevent every single alcohol related death, but it is one way to start. The current alcohol laws both statewide and nationwide, prove unsuccessful and a more efficient way to handle the situation is to educate teens about alcohol to influence them to make wise
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.
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.
The changing of the legal drinking age from 18 to 21 resulted from the false politicization of the very serious and prevalent issue of teenage drunk driving by activist groups such as M.A.D.D.-Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Instead of trying to legislate morality, which is a lost cause, the focus should be put on attempting to create a society which breeds responsible drinking habits. Since there is no significant change developmentally from the age 18 to 21, those three years are, in essence, a state of unfounded prohibition. The drinking age should be changed to 18. One reasoning behind the upping of the age, was the fact that the brain is not yet fully developed at the age of 18, and this can result in not only lapses of judgement (i.e., binge drinking, drunk driving, etc.)
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.
It was made illegal in the 1930’s for the same reasons as alcohol, because it was believed that it was going to do harm to society. As years have gone by, it is obvious that a mistake was made. The fact that marijuana was made illegal has created numerous problems for the United States that on the long run could have been easily avoided. Countries in different parts of the world and some states within the United States have already legalized marijuana and they have all shown positive outcomes out of their decisions. Although marijuana is illegal in majority of the states, legalizing marijuana for recreational use would bring about social and economical reforms that would help deter crime in the country, increase the amount of money the government makes, and also help people that are medically in need of the drug.