Essay about Debate Over the Legal Drinking Age

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The Debate Over the Legal Drinking Age

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
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One approach that many people who are concerned with the issue take is to lowering the drinking age because current policies don?t work. Most people taking this approach believe that the laws in place today do little or nothing to help or stop underage drinking, and in some ways even make it worse. "At the very least, American youth alcohol policy is ineffective. More disturbing, the drinking age may be counterproductive. It is applied so rigidly in most of the country that it precludes any attempt to teach young people how to handle alcohol responsibly." (Hanson).

Many people feel that the lack of effective policies and the high rate of underage drinking could have been predicted. In the 1920's and 30's, the United States attempted a prohibition of all alcohol beverages. This was met with such hostility that it was very short lived. During the prohibition, organized crime rose dramatically, as did the sales of illegal or "bootlegged liquor". Is it any surprise then, that the same thing has happened since the rise of the drinking age, but on a smaller scale? (Pickerington)

Many under the age of 21 are getting in trouble with the law in alcohol related incidents, which wouldn?t take place if the drinking age was lowered. Many underage drinkers drink in more dangerous places in order to avoid law enforcement. "... when these young adults ?drink on the sly in unsupervised settings, they are

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