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Lowering The Drinking Age

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The controversial question in many Americans’ minds is as follows, “So we are allowed to fight and die for our country, but we have to wait three years to legally drink a beer?” (Fulton). In schools alcohol is taught to be a bad, foreign, and a taboo subject; this is because many Americans abuse alcohol. They are not responsible or respectful when consuming liquor. With this in mind a group of concerned mothers joined together to protest against alcohol. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) advocated that in all 50 states the legal drinking age must be raised to 21 years of age, or suffer the loss of 10% of highway funds (Daniloff). Former President Ronald Reagan signed off on the National Minimum Drinking Age Act in 1984, and in turn the rest…show more content…
Contrary to stereotypical opinions, like the position of the organization MADD, alcohol can give the user many health benefits - if used responsibly. Lowering the minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) from 21 to 18 despite popular public opinion does not negatively impact society, and can in fact contribute to young adults’ growth and maturity into adulthood. When a person reaches the age of 18, it is considered the first step in becoming a full-fledged adult, which entails making important decisions regarding themselves, and others on their own. Provided that the age of adulthood is 18, logically it would encompass all of the adult responsibilities, including drinking at the ripe age of 18. Within the United States that is not the case. ProCon.org interprets alcohol consumption in the same light, “Turning 18 entails receiving the rights and responsibilities of adulthood to vote, smoke cigarettes, serve on juries, get married, sign contracts, be prosecuted as adults, and join the military - which includes risking one’s life,” (“Drinking Age”). This quote emphasizes the fact that as an adult, a person has new responsibilities and rights. Likewise, the MLDA at 21 shows that even though someone gains more rights, they are still limited on what they can do with…show more content…
Associations like MADD speak about how the higher MLDA has made the roads safer, but they refuse to admit that it is not the only reason. Before the raising of the MLDA there was a statistic recorded, “Rate of accident and fatalities in the 1980’s decreased less than that of European countries whose legal drinking ages are lower than 21,”( “Drinking Age”). Previously, before the MLDA was raised, traffic incidents relating to alcohol were very scarce; America was a safe place to drive. One factor often forgotten is that, some people are irresponsible and develop bad habits. Therefore someone will always fail to abide by the rules. Punishing all of the American citizens by the MLDA being raised to 21 is not the right way to go about and promote safe driving. The United States is not the worst place for drunk driving incidents; in fact, it is one of the lowest. According to Niall McCarthy there are more dangerous roads than that of the U.S., “58% on South Africa’s roads can be attributed to alcohol consumption… In the United States, 31% of all road accidents… In the United Kingdom and Germany, road deaths involving alcohol consumption are rarer at 16 % and 9 % respectively,” (McCarthy). South Africa is one of the most dangerous countries to drive in due to traffic fatalities encouraged by alcohol. In contrast to Europe and Germany that
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