Lowering The Drinking Age Essay

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Several organizations exist that are either in support of or opposed to lowering the minimum legal drinking age. Choose Responsibility, a group founded by John McCardell, proposes that upon completion of a 40 hour course to educate young people about alcohol, 18, 19, and 20 year old people should be licensed to drink. The Amethyst Initiative, part of Choose Responsibility, is a petition to Congress to rethink the minimum legal drinking age. Several college leaders have signed this petition in the belief that lowering the minimum legal drinking age will reduce binge drinking on college campuses. The Insurance Institute For Highway Safety (IIHS) has performed research on the results of states lowering, then raising, their minimum legal…show more content…
They have also asked Congress “to support an informed and dispassionate public debate over the effects of the 21 year-old drinking age” through the Amethyst Initiative. I question how giving eighteen year old persons the ability to drink legally will reduce binge drinking. If young people are told that it is okay to drink at age 18, they will. A surprising number of young people already drink illegally at age 18, and that number will only increase if 18 becomes the new minimum legal drinking age. Studies have shown that younger people get drunk twice as fast and have a more difficult time knowing when to stop. This is a core problem with underage drinking. Research shows that when the minimum legal drinking age is 21, opposed to lower ages in the past, young people do drink less. A lower minimum legal drinking age results in more young drinkers, not less. Amethyst Initiative and Choose Responsibility have the right goal - to reduce binge drinking - but the wrong approach. The approach should be stronger enforcement and firm parental rules. Teens must understand that the age limit of 21 is there for their safety, not to keep them having a good time.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety performed research comparing changes in states that lowered their minimum legal drinking age in 1974 and again when states raised their minimum legal drinking ages back to 21in the
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