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Drinking Age of 18

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The drinking age for adults is 21 because of the Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984, but I feel it should be lowered because you are legally an adult at 18.

As young adults turn 18, they are given the word that they are adults and are sent into the world to live as such. Are they really adults? They join the military, go to college, get a job, go to jail, and in some cases even get married and have kids. They do grown-up things like vote, pay taxes and become parents, but still cannot go to a bar for a beer because when it comes to liquor, they are still considered adolescent. Some people still question the 21-and-older drinking law.

Why is 21 the pinnacle age that makes an individual intelligent and mature enough to consume alcohol? Research shows that the brain continues to develop throughout adolescence and well into young adulthood. (White, Labouvie, & and Papadaratsakis, 2005). So with that being the case, why is that the age of 21 considered mature enough to consume alcohol and not 18? Many adults abuse alcohol on a daily basis. There are approximately 1.5 billion episodes of binge drinking among persons aged 18 years or older in the United States annually, most of which involve adults age 26 years and older (Naimi T, 2003). So what does that really say about the laws that are in place now? Are that really just? This seemingly arbitrary number is what's considered adulthood, as if the day a person turns 21 they know everything there is to be an adult and are mature enough to make the right decision.

At one point in time the drinking age was 18 in some states. There may have been fatalities due to drinking, but that happens at every age. If you can be tried as an adult at 18 in the judicial system then you should be able to make an adult decision to drink responsibly. It wasn't until 1984 when the [Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 required all states to raise their minimum purchase and public possession of alcohol age to 21] (David J. Hanson, 1997-2011). Isn't this kind of misleading? I would think that there would be something in the act that address the issue of consumption as well. It also stated certain circumstances when drinking was allowed. Such as [religious purpose, when accompanied by a parent, spouse or legal guardian age 21 or older] (David J. Hanson, 1997-2011) and even [in private clubs or establishments] (David J. Hanson, 1997-2011). If drinking under the age of 21 was such a crime then why were these certain situations allowed? Many parents of adolescents today were legally allowed to drink. Our current youth face even more responsibilities and are treated more like adults than their parents were.

An individual is allowed to sign a contract to join the military and is able to be tried as an adult when they have committed a crime. In some states, like Colorado, [a person who is less than 18 years of age is considered a juvenile] (Services, July 20,2010).



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