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Drinking Age Should Be Lowered?

Essay by   •  March 28, 2012  •  Essay  •  638 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,683 Views

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Throughout history, alcohol has been used in numerous occasions and reasons. However, the line where alcohol becomes inappropriate, and consumption age has been a debate since the 19th century. In the early 1980's the U.S. government made states raise their legal drinking age to 21 or the state's high way fund would deteriorate. Was it better to raise the legal drinking age? In many ways, the drinking age should have never been risen. The MLDA of 21 questions the maturity of eighteen year olds, the fatalities of drunk driving cannot be directly correlated with the higher MLDA and the MLDA of 21 continues to increase and push binge drinking underground.

By placing the MLDA at 21, society insults young adults by questioning their maturity and responsibility. The MLDA of 21 is "the most brutal hypocrisies of ageism" (s4). The same government, which implemented the MLDA of 21, says that "not all military drinking by young men and women is illegal" (s5). The government deems adults under 21 "are not mature enough to have a beer" in their home country; however, if they are serving in the military and are stationed overseas, drinking by underage citizens of the U.S. is acceptable. In many states, 47 of 50, the "age of majority" is 18. In this case, adults are given the responsibility of "voting, joing the military, serving in a jury, signing contracts, getting married, applying for credit and loans, making decisions regarding medical treatments and being prosecuted as an adult"(S1). All of which can cause harm to or kill all bodies involved, but "teens have not yet reached an age where they can handle alcohol responsibly, and thus are more likely to harm or kill themselves and others by drinking prior to 21" (S1)

In addition to telling 18 year olds they are not mature enough to drink, the government uses traffic fatalities to support their argument. Since 1982, driving fatalities have decreased. Supporters of keeping the MLDA at 21 say the decrease is due to rising the MLDA "... when states increased the legal drinking age to 21, alcohol related crashes among people [ less than] 21 years of age decreased an average of 16%"(S6). Though the driving fatalities did decrease since the '80s in the U.S., "its rate of traffic fatalities in the 1980s decreased less than that of European countries whose legal drinking ages are lower than 21" (S2). This shows that keeping the MLDA of 21 is not effective in reducing traffic fatalities (S2).

The MLDA was also set to decrease the amount of alcohol consumption in adolescents. The minimum drinking age has not stopped teen drinking but has simply pushed underage drinking further underground. The amount of alcohol that the young people, who do drink, their consumption has increased (S6). Chief of Police, Mark R. Breckner, agrees that "all of the effort we have tried to implement over the years,

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