The Minimum Legal Drinking Age

1594 Words7 Pages
The Drinking Age is Safer than You Thought As Americans, we are always wondering what we can do to save lives. We suspect cancer, disease, suicide, violence, and distracted driving as taking the lives of our fellow Americans. What you may not know, is that we are already saving lives, and we have been since 1984 because of one simple law. The Uniform Drinking Age Act of 1984 moved the minimum legal drinking age from 18 to 21. Lowering the drinking age is a step backward for our safety and our health. This claim is viable because more young people will die if the drinking age is lowered, lowering the drinking age will not cause people to drink more safely, and a lower drinking age negatively affects people later in life. Recently,…show more content…
A large portion of the youth in America have been lead to believe that having the drinking age lowered would save lives and reduce heavy drinking, but this reasoning does not hold up. I applaud the efforts of my opposition to try and create safer drinking environments, reduce binge drinking, and save lives, but lowering the drinking age to 18 is not an effective way to accomplish those goals. 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
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