The Minimum Drinking Age : A Rite Of Passage For The Average Young Individual

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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. In the United States, the minimum age required to legally consume alcohol is twenty-one years, being allowed in some states for young people under the minimum drinking age to consume alcohol under specific controlled circumstances. This particular age is controversial as it does not correspond to the age of majority of 18 years embraced by 47 states, which entitles the individual to vote, get married and join the army, among other decisions inherent to adulthood. It is thus seen as contradictory to consider a young person mature enough to take decisions of this nature, but not mature enough to drink alcohol. 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

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