Lowering the Minimum Legal Drinking Age in the United States

Imagine being a senior in high school, 18 years old. Should young adults be able to legally buy an alcoholic beverage at this age? This has been an ongoing controversy in the United States as to whether the drinking age should be lowered from 21-years-old to 18-years-old. At 18-years-old in America, young adults are entrusted with the responsibility to vote in elections, get married, buy firearms and tobacco, fight for this country and serve on jury, yet they cannot responsibly drink a glass of wine at dinner (Grobety, 2018). The contrasting perspective to this argument is that underage drinking will damage brain cells in people whose brains have not fully formed more than in mature brains or that it could potentially lead to an increase of alcohol related automobile accidents (Fox, 2016).

Literature Review

In Fox’s article, she explains how lowering the drinking age can ultimately lower student success. This article was included in the essay because she explains the perspective of a counterargument, that underage drinking will damage brain cells in people whose brains have not fully formed. Another article that opposes lowering the legal drinking age is written by Smith. In this article, it expresses another counterargument as to how lowering the legal drinking age could potentially lead to an increase in of alcohol related automobile accidents. The last article that explains a counterargument is written by Sheboygan. This article explains why the argument of being 18-years-old and defending this country has lost all meaning. An article that supports the lowering of the legal drinking age is written by Sarah Grobety. This article expresses how the rising issue of fake IDs would be resolved with a lower legal drinking age. The last article included in the essay is written by Schorr. He makes it known how countless hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars that go into enforcing drinking laws could be saved by lowering the minimum drinking age to 18 years old.

Discussion

The purpose of having such a high drinking age, 21-years-old, is to protect young adults from the negative effects of alcohol. However, the high drinking age has the opposite effect on young adults. Due to the high drinking age and teenagers not having easy access to alcohol, they are more likely to binge drink whenever they are exposed to alcohol. Binge drinking is very dangerous. If the drinking age was lowered to age 18-years-old it would allow for more transparency and openness to consumption at a younger age which would help teach young adults and children how to drink responsibly (Grobety, 2018). Normal actions for college students such as binge drinking or pregaming before events would be reduced because of a lowered legal drinking age.

If there was a competition for the least obeyed law, the drinking age law would certainly be the winner. Countless hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars go into enforcing drinking laws in a state, especially on college campuses (Schorr, 2017). Hundreds of thousands of dollars on a law that is rarely obeyed. If the minimum drinking age was lowered to 18-years-old, the hours and money could be relocated to other areas of need, like drug abuse, sexual assault and education on alcohol for young people (Schorr, 2017).

Falsifying government documents is a felony and that can lead to both a fine and up to twenty years of imprisonment, yet fake IDs are still on the rise. The use of fake IDs are especially prevalent in college towns (Grobety, 2018). Young adults who can make decisions independently should not have to lie about their age in order to make decisions about their drinking habits. They should be treated as any other adult and be responsible enough to do so. Lowering the drinking age would decrease the number of fake IDs in circulation and keep more young adults out of trouble (Grobety, 2018).

A person who opposes lowering the legal drinking age to 18-years-old may say underage drinking will damage brain cells in people whose brain have not fully formed (Fox, 2016) or not being able to consume alcohol, but serve our country lost all meaning when the Vietnam war ended (Sheboygan, 2017). Also, some will claim it could potentially lead to an increase of alcohol related automobile accidents (Fox, 2016). However, the truth is that if an underage teenager wants to consume alcohol they will find a way to, no matter the consequences. It would only be in the best interest to lower the minimum legal drinking age and better educate the teenagers of our society how to drink responsibly.

Conclusions

Thus far having such a high drinking age has been ineffective. If the drinking age was lowered to age 18-years-old it would have many more benefits than consequences. The current legal drinking age has made drinking in excess, binge drinking, a standard way of rebelling an unjust and immoral law. Young adults should be prepared to make responsible decisions about alcohol the same way they are prepared to make life decisions. It is time for a change. We don’t hand a teenager cay keys without first educating them about how to drive, why expect 21-year-olds to learn how to drink responsibly without educating them (Glaser, 2015).

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Cite this page

Lowering the Minimum Legal Drinking Age in the United States. (2019, Aug 12). Retrieved December 1, 2021 , from
https://studydriver.com/lowering-the-minimum-legal-drinking-age-in-the-united-states/

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