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Minimum Drinking Age

Essay by   •  January 15, 2013  •  Essay  •  1,055 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,231 Views

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The drinking age in America has been under debate for many years, even though it is 21 by law, there are still many that believe this law should be set by the State, not the federal government. It has been argued that the law should not be 21 and should be reduced for many reasons. However, others believe that the age limit is sufficient if not already too low. Plenty disagree with lowering the drinking age because; of the lack of maturity in young adults and the increasing number of deaths and injuries caused by alcohol related incidents. Citizens of the United States can be rather opinionated when it comes to this particular matter for some of the above obvious reasons (Parker-Pope, 2004).

An extremely passionate crowd on this issue is the young people of America. They feel betrayed and ungrateful for (Nass, 1989). Young people say that if we can die for this country and choose the next president, why can't we drink? "It is harmful to think that the eighteen to twenty year olds are considered legal citizens and have all governmental responsibilities proposed upon them at the early age of eighteen" (Henson, 2011). Tobacco can be purchased by eighteen year olds; they have to pay taxes and go to prison but they cannot drink at a bar. This seems confusing to the younger crowd, and they are adamant about wanting the age limit lowered. Is it reasonable to be able to enroll in the military, army, or navy yet still be refused an alcoholic beverage? One really must consider, if an individual signs an agreement to put his or her life on the line for the call of duty, shouldn't they have the right to an alcoholic beverage (Hanson, 2009)?

Contrary to that argument are the risk of DUI's and auto accidents involving alcohol going up and that is a risk no one wants to take (Jeffery & Tetelbaum, 2009). Lots of parents and especially the organization of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) are passionate against lowering the drinking age. They believe it is extremely dangerous to let young adults drink alcohol for reasons primarily based on accidents and fatality reports sky rocketing. They feel that the drinking age limit law is a tool in saving the lives of young people and fully support it.

However, if a bill were to be passed to lower the drinking age, States would be in the position to lose millions of dollars in federal highway aid. "The reason for reduction in federal funding was due to several studies conducted in the late 1970's and early 1980's showing that states with a lower minimum drinking age limit had increasingly higher traffic accidents than those states with the minimum legal drinking age limit at twenty-one" (United I.P, 1984). "So with numbers of advocacy groups encouraging states to raise their drinking age, our nations congress set forth the Uniform Drinking Age Act in 1984 which provided that states who did not raise their minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) to twenty-one would have a portion of their federal-aid highway construction funding taken away" (Jeffery & Tetelbaum,

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