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High Drinking Ages: Do They Really Help?

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High Drinking Ages: Do They Really Help?

Did you know that 71% of 8th graders surveyed by the National Youth Rights Association say that it is "fairly easy" or "very easy" to get access to alcohol? These kids are 13! People are drinking, and even with all of the forces of national and state law combined, adolescents under the age of 21 are still drinking in the United States. The trend is unstoppable and it is going off the charts. We may think that parents are the ones to blame for the initial causes of underage drinking, but we know that these teens are aware of all of the alcohol they can easily obtain. If a person is over 18, that person should be able to take responsibility for his or her own actions. Even though underage drinking is what leads to drinking problems in later years, the national drinking age should be lowered because society considers 18 to be the age of adulthood, and despite the rules, teens are still drinking, and most countries have lower drinking ages than the United States.

To begin with, when a person turns 18, most people would think that they would know what to do with their lives. The opposition might say that 18 year olds aren't mature enough to handle alcohol at such a young age. Considering that they are finished or almost finished with high school and that they can fend for themselves, they do become legally responsible. Adulthood, according to society, comes at 18, so most 18 year olds should know the consequences of drinking. They have been educated in school about the dangers of drinking alcohol, and they know what to expect. When people turn 18, they become legally responsible for most of their actions. A person can serve the military, buy property, smoke cigarettes, hold a seat in office, serve on a jury, and adopt at the age of 18. If this is legal, drinking can be legal at the age of 18. According to the Gale Opposing Viewpoints in Context Article, Old Enough for War, Old Enough for Alcohol, the 26th Amendment to the Constitution was quoted, stating "The right of citizens of the US, who are 18 years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged on account of age" ("Old Enough for War, Old Enough for Alcohol", 2). If this applies to voting, it should be applied to drinking. An 18 year old should be able to choose what kinds of substances he or she wants to put in his or her body. Evidently, drinking at the age of 18 is not a problem because if the constitution allows for 18 year olds having a right to do so many legal adult actions, then having a beer should be allowed as well.

Furthermore, laws are put out saying that drinking is only legal after the age of 21, but despite that law teens are still drinking. According to the National Youth Rights Association, alcohol consumption in the age group between 12 and 20 has risen from 15.2% to 18.9% over the last 5 years, even though specific laws are put out ("Frequently Asked Questions", 1). Albeit teens are not allowed to drink, they take advantage of the easy access they have to alcohol. If eighth graders can get access to alcohol, how much harder could it be for a high school senior? These teens will get the alcohol they want no matter where it is hidden. Not only can they find alcohol, they can also hide it from their parents and peers. When teens put their minds to something they can accomplish anything. Also, the current drinking age is 21 because the government claims the body is done developing by



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