During the 1960s most U.S. states established 21 as the Minimum Legal Drinking Age, also known as MLDA. Since a few states still kept their MLDA at 18 Congress passed the Uniform Drinking Age Act; which stated that the federal government would not give any highway funds unless those states whose MLDA has not been changed to 21 would change to 21. Ever since the
Everyone in today’s society knows that the minimum legal drinking age in the U.S. is 21. But nobody really knows why. In the year 1984, President Reagan informed the states that if they didn’t change their drinking age to 21, they would lose 10% of their federal funding for their highways(Why is the Drinking Age 21?). In fear of losing their funding, all the states changed their MLDA (minimum legal drinking age) to 21, instead of 18. Some people were outraged that the age had been raised, and believed that if they were 18+ whenever the law was changed, they should still be able to purchase alcohol. However, the states disagreed. There are many different opinions on the MLDA. Many people believe that it should be lowered back down to 18, while some people believe even 21 is almost too young. But what are these people’s arguments?
Due to a significant amount of young people having alcohol related motor vehicle crashes the United States Congress passed the National Minimum Drinking Act in 1984. Originally, after prohibition the minimum legal drinking age was 21 in nearly all states. However, as the voting age was decreased in the 1970’s many of the states lowered the legal drinking age (2013). Many wanted the Federal government to step in and
One side to this debate is that the legal drinking age should be lowered from 21 to around 18 or 19 years old, and that young adults should be allowed to drink in controlled environments. This idea is presented by Ruth Engs, a professor of Applied Sciences at Indiana University. She states that environments such as taverns, pubs, restaurants and official university functions can be considered to be controlled environments. “In these situations responsible drinking could be taught through role modeling and educational programs. Mature and sensible drinking behavior would be expected” (Engs). In her article, Engs uses phrases such as “forbidden fruit,” and “a badge of rebellion against authority” to describe how teens view drinking. In her opinion, if the drinking age were to be lowered, young adults would no longer feel the pressure to drink in order to “be cool.”
I believe that the drinking age should be lowered to the age of 18. I took this stance in my health class debate last year and it was a success. There are many reasons why the drinking age should be lowered that I will discuss in this paper. These reasons are very convincing and should be considered by the government. I will also look into what action is being taken on decreasing the yearly amount of DUI’s.
They even say there are less drinking and driving fatalities in many other countries that have the drinking age at eighteen (“Drinking Age”). It shows that the percentages of fatalities that occur have nothing to do with the MLDA (“Drinking Age”). The MLDA is having no effect because teens are are still consuming alcohol illegally. The drinking age of 21 promotes teens to get fake identification so they can get alcohol. Lowering the drinking age would decrease the number of false identifications. Especially since there is a lot of terrorism and fake identifications right now we need to get rid of that stuff (“Drinking Age”). I believe that there are a lot kids that like alcohol at the age of 18. They should have that right to have a drink and enjoy it.
As most people living in the United States already know, the national minimum age for purchasing alcohol is twenty-one. However, prior to the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984, some states lowered the drinking age below 21 (mainly as a result of the lowered voting age). The Drinking Age Act was put into place as a result of a correlation between young drinking and motor vehicle fatalities. Under the provisions of the Act, any states with a minimum drinking age below 21 are subject to a 10% cut in highway funding from the federal government. The United States is one of only a few countries with a drinking age as high as 21; the majority of countries
The minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) has propelled national debates on the subject, primarily promoted by university students, who argument that implementing the MLDA at 21 encourages
Lowering the drinking age to eighteen will encourage drinking in safer environments with supervision rather than secretly behind closed doors. Colleges will be a safer environment if the government would allow eighteen year olds to consume alcoholic beverages and less incidents of hidden intoxication will occur.
By lowering the MLDA, we are putting the lives of our young people at risk. Many studies have been done on the safety of a MLDA of 18 and several of those were about alcohol-related injuries and fatalities. Since the Uniform Drinking Age Act was passed in 1984, significantly fewer alcohol-related traffic accidents have occurred (Saylor 330). Traffic accidents are one of the leading causes of death in our country, so it can also be claimed that reducing traffic accidents will decrease the number of deaths from accidents. In fact, a 2010 article by Wechsler and Toben published in the American Journal of Public Health discovered a 58% drop in car crashes after the MLDA was changed from 18 to 21 (988). Fifty-eight percent is not a coincidence and never will be. Changing the MLDA to 21 has been so successful in reducing traffic accidents that the National Highway Safety Department stepped in to support the higher drinking age. A conservative estimate claims over 800 lives have been saved each year since the drinking age was
The MLDA also comes into play with why the drinking age should be lowered. Enforcing an MLDA of 21 is expensive and inefficient. Setting the MLDA at 21 is unconstitutional because it is discrimination against the particular age group of 18- 20 year olds. IT would be more effective to spend money on educating youth about alcohol than to spend it on enforcement of drinking laws for 18- 20 year olds. The pie chart below shows the proportion of 83 countries MLDAs from ages 14 to 21.
Simultaneously, accidents involving automobiles without a doubt are devastating. How would one feel if a loved one was killed in a collision due to an intoxicated driver? Wouldn’t the individual want to do something about it? The death of the Candy Lightner’s daughter lead to her development of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and the 1984 National Minimum Drinking Age Act. This act gave full federal highway funds only to states that set the minimum age to purchase or consume alcohol at twenty-one years (Sanghavi). Once all states raised their MLDA to twenty-one years, drunk-driving accidents and deaths decreased. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the reduction in traffic fatalities due to the legal drinking age of twenty-one prevented 846 deaths in 1997 and prevented a total of 17,359 deaths since 1975 (Balkin 168). This single statistic shows that automobile accidents have substantially decreased in response to the authorization of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act. In addition, the average teenager earns their drivers license at the age of seventeen. This being said, allowing a young driver with only one years experience (excluding a learners permit) to legally consume alcohol would surely be an irresponsible decision. Most people know
If we didn’t keep the age at 21 imagine how many drunk driving accidents there would be. Lowering the age will increase the amount of consequences young adults will receive in their future. “The evidence is clear that there would be consequences if we lowered the legal drinking age”. A lot of young adults will go out and drink and not think about it sufficiently about what will happen if you enter a car with alcohol. The types of consequences these young adults will receive a DUI.
The United States’ minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) of twenty one is almost a perfect example of a policy with unrealistic expectations and serious unintended consequences. The current policy that the United States has in effect criminalizes youth who consume alcohol at less than twenty one years of age. Young adults are going to drink under twenty one, so why shouldn’t the United States lower the MLDA to eighteen? Following Prohibition in 1933, many states made their MLDA twenty one. During the 1960’s and 1970’s, many states lowered it to eighteen to match the drafting age (Alcohol Policy MD). President Reagan passed The National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 which required all states to raise their minimum purchase and public
With that being said, this could increase the possibility of the amount of drunk driving. Lowering the drinking age would also result in younger generations being in clubs late at night which would cause more issues within society, resulting in more high school dropouts. “Every year, over 1.2 million students drop out of high school in the United States alone. That’s a student every 26 seconds – or 7,000 a day”. It would give high school