Military Drinking Age

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According to Main in ¨Underage Drinking and the Drinking Age” from the Policy Review, lowering the drinking age to eighteen from twenty-one would increase the harsh effects that are currently impacting our society and our military. Main insists that the United States should not get rid of the laws that set 21 as the mandatory minimum age for drinking, known as the ¨21 laws.¨ Although there are laws and severe consequences for those who drink under the age of 21, underage drinking is a huge concern, especially at college. When the undergraduates binge drink, drinking five or more alcoholic drinks on one occasion, they not only have the potential to hurt themselves, but also their peers. For example, over 474,000 students have unprotected sex,…show more content…
However, Main disagrees. The highest rates of binge drinking are found among young service members, especially men aged 18 to 25. Heavy drinking in the military is a recurring problem in the military with the lowest statistic of members binge drinking being in the Air Force. The greatest occurrence of heavy drinking exists outside of the United States, with 15 percent of all heavy users drinking within the states and 20 percent outside of the United States. In several countries in Europe allow 18 years old to drink. This allows young soldiers to drink at a much younger age because they are allowed to abide by the laws within the country they are stationed in. The U.S. Department of Defense takes the binge drinking of the young, and sometimes underage men, extremely seriously and the consequences of the heavy drinking are harsh with the punishments ranging from being looked over for promotion to being punished under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Although the punishments are strict and harsh, these rules are in place to protect the men and women from not only harming themselves, but their fellow comrades…show more content…
Whether it’s a college student or someone in the military, underage drinking is a serious problem and lowering the drinking age to 18 would only allow these problems to grow at a much faster rate, including those in the military. More and more teens would die from the effects of drinking alcohol and mixing it with their lives. Lowering the drinking age to 18 would not only affect the drinkers, but also those around them and even those who are not even born yet. The overall cost of lowering the drinking age outweighs the benefits. There is already so much being lost both in dollar value and in human value with an estimated 36 billion dollars being lost and over 13,000 lives lost (Testorff 3). Americans need to not give up on the 21 laws, but to enforce them and to help stop the unnecessary cost of underage drinking

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