Persuasive Speech: Lowering Drinking Age

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My name is Austin Gansert. I am a high school student at Woodbridge High School in Irvine, CA. I am writing you today to talk about a very controversial topic: the legal drinking age. I believe that there are many benefits to having a lower drinking age of 18, rather than the current drinking age of 21. 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
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Frat parties, for example, serve booze, often, if not always, without the supervision of a responsible adult (aka an adult over the age of 21). Lowering the drinking age to 18 can be beneficial in that responsible drinking can be taught before the student turns 21. My favorite analogy, by Huffington Post writer, Elizabeth Glass Geltman, says, “We don’t have students teach each other how to drive, why is alcohol different?” In her article on Huffington Post, she talks about her college experience in the 70s and early 80s, where the legal drinking age in the US was 18. She talks about how drinking was legal for most students in her senior year of high school and in college, and that beer was commonly served at dances, proms, graduation events, etc. where there were parents and teachers present. She also talks about how in her days, learning to drink socially and responsibly was part of her college experience, and it was at least partially supervised. They had pubs on campus, and the bartender was paid by the school to serve, and he was also responsible to cut off students who are overdoing it. Supervised drinking on college campuses was done with faculty and staff, who could model the appropriate alcohol-related…show more content…
But while it has succeeded in that, it is also believed that tougher rules, such as DUI rules and seatbelt safety rules have also played a part in this decrease. However, this higher drinking age hasn’t reduced drinking, its only “driven it underground,” Gabrielle Glaser states in her NY Times article. It has been driven underground to the riskiest settings, high school parties and frat parties that are unsupervised. This age raise segregates the drinking away from adults that can model moderation in drinking. If an 18-year-old high school senior is shown by his/her parent(s) how to drink responsibly and in moderation, I believe that it would greatly help in reducing the chance of making bad decisions by overdoing it, such as driving while drinking. Teaching children to drink safely starting while they’re 18 and living with their parents will help them develop healthy habits which will stick with them, helping them drink
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