Minimum Legal Drinking Agre

1173 Words Feb 24th, 2018 5 Pages
At the age of 18, a person enters the realm of adulthood and is assigned the rights and responsibilities associated with this legal status. For example, an 18 year old can legally sign a contract and is bound by the terms and conditions of the contract. An 18 year old can marry without parental consent, serve on a jury, and vote in state and federal elections. An 18 year old who is charged with a crime is not tried in the juvenile justice system but is tried as an adult. Additionally, an 18 year old can join the military and be sent to a combat zone to defend our country. One notable exception to the rights of adulthood is the right to legally consume alcohol until the age of 21. I will present a cogent argument to lower the legal drinking age in the United States from 21 to 18. The elements of the argument will be based in utilitarian ethics. Jeremy Bentham, a utilitarian theorist, advocated that one’s individual rights should outweigh the interests of institutions, which include the government.
Prior to 1920, each state established its own minimum legal drinking age. When the Eighteenth Amendment was passed on January 17, 1920, the era of prohibition began. While the Eighteenth Amendment was in effect, it was illegal in the Unites States to manufacture, distribute, and/or sell alcohol. Prohibition ended on December 5, 1933, when the Twenty-first Amendment was ratified. The states were…
Open Document