American society has become littered with so-called “Rights of Passage” and none more desired than what comes at the age of 21—the privilege to drink. This event is arguably the most anticipated day for any American because they are finally granted the responsibility of choosing for themselves whether or not they want to drink and bear the risks involved.
The legal drinking age has been volatile throughout the United States’ history changing from absolutely no restrictions to a complete ban. Since the passing of the 21st amendment, the legal age has been 21 making America one of only 4 countries with a legal age at or above 21. Sadly, this has produced a society of immaturity that denies the general populous the ability to make their own decisions and instead conditions the populous to rely on authority to dictate their lives.
American’s have long been educated about safe alcohol usage and about how the legal age of 21 leads to fewer deaths by way of alcohol-attributable factors. As a student, I am aware of this incessant peppering of facts and figure all too much; however, this claim about a higher age leading to fewer deaths is simply inaccurate as demonstrated around the world. Two prime examples are Singapore and Norway, which both have legal drinking ages of 18. In reference to what American students are taught in school, this would cause immediate concerns that improper alcohol usage would be more prevalent and the death rates would increase, however; Singapore and
It has been a rising issue within the past century to have the drinking age set at 21, but many people are more in favor of having the age set at 18. For instance, “’Raising the drinking age to 21 was passed with the very best of intentions, but it’s had the very worst of outcomes,’ stated by David J. Hanson, an alcohol policy expert” (Johnson). Many people believe that having the drinking age set at 21 was a smart idea, but it has caused many more deaths and injuries over the years. Most of these fatalities are cause from people who are underage and choose to consume alcohol. Again, “Libertarian groups and some conservative economic foundations, seeing the age limits as having been extorted by Washington, have long championed lowering the drinking age” (Johnson). These groups see that keeping the drinking age set at 21 is dangerous as it causes more problems to the Untied States. If the drinking age was lowered, or set at 18, there would not be such unforgiving outcomes, like deaths and lifelong injuries, which are usually caused from people who are under the age of 21 drinking alcohol. Although there are numerous groups that are fighting to keep the age
According to Drew K. Saylor, he writes that studies from a meta-analytic review showed that "Raising the minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) is associated with a 16% median decrease in alcohol-related crash outcomes while lowering the MLDA result in a 10% median increase in such crash outcomes" (332). The essence of this argument is that having the law of the drinking age to be 21 has a positive effect in the country because there is a decrease in car crashes. This is why the author Drew K. Saylor also agrees when he writes "A solution to this problem is not a simple as lowering the drinking age and asking young people to choose responsibility" (332). Saylor's point is to make the people understand that lowering the drinking age won't fix much because accidents will still happen, but with more frequency. Since in the past, the argument was deciding whether to raise or no to raise the drinking age to be 21 because of the danger youths had to live through if something happened to them. Drew K. Saylor argues that the drinking age has led to create a change in the people who are 18-20 years old because college students now a days tend to consume more alcohol than any others. When this happens among college students, it’s called binge drinking. According to Drew K. Saylor, a professor from the University of Virginia with a BA degree, he states that “Binge drinking is the consumption of an excessive amount of alcohol in a short period of time”
It’s no doubt that alcohol has a major sway on today’s society across the board both culturally and globally. When we take a look into past history, we can see how alcohol has been the fundamental measures to religious, professional, and social concerns. It seems that no matter how far our history books go back, the United States has had a question about the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Through the years of Prohibition halting the sale, shipping, and ingestion of alcohol and the constitutional acts delegating who is accurately fit to drink. Today’s controversy is a lot less infringing on personal rights. It’s regarding whether the legal drinking age should be lowered from twenty-one to eighteen. This has been a huge controversy geared exclusively towards college students due to the fact that alcohol consumption at universities is the definitive part of campus life even though the greater part of students are not legally permitted to drink. It is apparent that through the regularity and risks of binge drinking across universities and the high percentage of DUI and alcohol related fatal crashes, that something needs to shift in this country. Lowering the drinking age to eighteen would be an expedient and positive step in reducing binge drinking, nurturing the safe practice of drinking alcohol, and permitting those students of legal drinking age the chance to fully and sensibly make mature adult choices.
The legal drinking age in the United States is 21, while in other countries the legal age ranges from 16-18. The argument in the United States is “Should the United States lower its drinking age?” There are many sides to this argument but research has given many good points to back up both sides of the question. First thing is the difference between a teen’s brain with alcohol and an adult’s brain with alcohol. Another thing is drinking at a younger age can help teach culture. Lastly the more alcohol exposed the increase in death rate. I believe that it is a good idea to keep the legal drinking age at age 21 because in our past we have had many problems with death increases due to the drinking age being at different ages and the research used uses pathos, logos, ethos and Kairos to help persuade the reader support that 21 should stay the legal drinking age.
Society’s attitude towards the drinking age has been a major controversy in the United States. The attitudes regarding the drinking age have been based off statistics and society’s varying opinion. Alcohol is a toxic depressant that has a damaging effect on the human body. As a result, to prevent excessive alcoholic consumption, the ratification of the 18th amendment took place from 1919 to 1939. This established the Prohibition Act, which banned the transportation, manufacturing and selling of an alcoholic beverage. However, illegal production of alcohol continued to take place in secret. Gradually prohibition laws became difficult to enforce. As a result, the Prohibition Act was repealed in 1933. In 1984, congress mandated a law which would raise the drinking age from 18 to 21 through the National Minimum Drinking Age. Reasoning for mandating an older drinking age, was to enhance public safety and promote good health. In 1988, all 50 states enforced the drinking age to 21. The concern for the consumption of alcohol have targeted teenagers and young adults
Consuming alcohol is considered a rite of passage for the average young individual. The minimum drinking age required to legally consume alcohol varies in each country, ranging from it always being legal to drinking being illegal at any age, but most countries have set the age at 18-19. In the United States, as of 1988, the MLDA is 21 throughout its entire territory, while the age of majority starts at 18. This paper analyzes the arguments to lower the minimum drinking age and unify it with the age of majority. The factors discussed are alcohol-related traffic accidents, encouragement of unsafe drinking habits, and inconsistency between the perception of adulthood and the MLDA.
Every year, thousands of deaths occur as a result of drunk driving, and every day people are facing the consequences of irresponsible drinking. Because of the issues caused by irresponsible drinking, the US government passed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act in 1984 which raised the minimum drinking age to twenty-one to prevent drinking-related accidents and violence. Despite the intent of its passing, it was a counterproductive decision. Because of the higher age restriction, high school upperclassmen and college underclassmen see drinking as an exciting, rebellious act. Consequentially, the National Minimum Drinking Age Act resulted in an increase in dangerous and irresponsible drinking which continues to this day. Not only does the
One of the major arguments in lowering the drinking age is the comparison many make with other countries and their drinking habits. It stands to be true that many countries have a considerably lower drinking age or none at all. It also stands to be true that 1 in 10 drinking occasions by younger adolescents in southern European countries resulted in intoxication, versus America where the number is almost half. (Beck 2) But the amount of binge drinking taking place in all European countries is a lot higher than it is in the United States. The reason I
When people think of drinking, they think of fun games and parties. However, this depiction is wrong. When individuals under twenty-one drink, consequences emerge. In the United States, the minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) is twenty-one. According to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA), the legal drinking age set at twenty-one saves about 900 lives on the road annually (James C. Fell). By having the drinking age at twenty-one, the amount of alcohol consumed decreases. Less drinking results in a drop in potential risks and dangerous acts often associated with alcohol. Individuals under the age of twenty-one are not mature enough to make good choices. Therefore,
The legal drinking age in the United States is currently 21, which is four years shy of when the brain stops developing. Previously however, the legal age was 18. Countries around the world have varied laws on the drinking age. In some countries, drinking is not allowed no matter what age. In other countries, the drinking age is 16.
In the United States, a citizen is considered an “adult” at the age of 18, and with that new title comes many responsibilities, such as the right to vote and to join the army. However, the legal drinking age in America is twenty-one. This issue has been a major controversy for some time now that faces both national and state governments. Should the drinking age be lowered to the age when legally a person becomes an adult and assumes all other adult responsibilities, or should it remain at a higher age to allow people to grow more mature and, hopefully, make more responsible decisions?
Without a doubt, the United States has been facing serious national problems with underage drinking. Depending on personal ideologies, some people might not agree that the current minimum drinking age of twenty-one is based on scientific facts rather then ideology of prohibitionism. For example, since 1975 over seventeen thousand lives have been saved since the minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) was changed to age twenty-one (Balkin 167). This shows that even over a short amount of time, a higher MLDA helps decrease the risk of teen suicides, accidents and overdose deaths. However, this widely debated topic has inevitably brought attention to the plethora of supporting and opposing viewpoints. The minimum legal drinking age of twenty-one
College life is filled with changes. It is filled with many new experiences. As college students, we are on our own, adults. As adults we are responsible for keeping up to date on information that affects us. One issue that affects college students nation wide is drinking. The current legal drinking age in the United States is twenty-one years of age. The Federal government raised the legal drinking age from 18 to 21 in 1984. Even with the current drinking age at twenty-one, many people under that age choose to drink anyway. In fact, a government survey from 1996 showed that 56% of high school seniors reported drinking in the last 30 days (Hanson). With so many underage drinkers, many people
The controversy on the proper drinking age is one that has been repeatedly discussed and researched over the years. Its common to hear the argument “If someone is old enough to take a bullet for their country, they should be allowed to drink alcohol.” But is that enough justification? Some would say no. “According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) it is estimated that in 2004 there were more than 1,700 student deaths, 599,000 injuries, and 696,000 assaults annually associated with excessive drinking” (Fennell 247). Given these numbers, would lowering the drinking age really be the best thing for America’s youth?
The laws concerning the minimum drinking age in this country sometimes seem ridiculous and unnecessary. In this paper, I will discuss why certain laws are unfair and I will provide alternatives to certain problems concerning underage drinking and binge drinking.