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Should the Drinking Age Be Lowered from 21

Essay by   •  July 10, 2012  •  Essay  •  499 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,685 Views

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Should the drinking age be lowered from 21? In all 50 states the minimum drinking age is set to 21. Therefore any person under this age caught drinking is doing it illegally. Many of those doing so are teenagers around the age of 18. Many question if this is an age where they can handle the responsibility of alcohol consumption. I feel that the MLDA (Minimum Legal Drinking Age) should not be lowered because there are many more cons than pros if it were lowered. Nonetheless, I will be discussing both sides of this topic.

After national alcohol prohibition ended on Dec. 5, 1933 with the ratification of the US Constitution's 21st Amendment, most states set their minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) at 21. From 1970 to 1975, concurrent with the passage of the 26th Amendment setting the legal voting age at 18 on July 1, 1971, 29 states lowered their MLDA from 21 to 18, 19, or 20. Later reports showed teenage car accidents increased to those states that lowered the MLDA from 21. Therefore, causing congress to pass the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984. This act basically forced those states that lowered the MLDA to increase the age back to 21 or the government would withhold money from the federal transportation funds to those who didn't comply.

Even with these laws being passed drinking under 21 has still increased, which has led to more fatalities buy teens driving under the influence. Scientific research has showed that those aged below 21 aren't experienced drivers. Its obvious when you drive that it involves a certain level of concentration and rational decision making. If the driver is intoxicated its will decrease their concentration and decision making on the road leading to possible harm to themselves as well as others. Imagine, this can only be much worse for those under the age 21 who don't have as much experience driving.

There is also an increase in risk of disease for those who drink under 21. When teens drink alcohol, they are more likely to binge drink than people above the age of 21, thus demonstrating that teens are more prone to alcohol abuse than older demographics and should not be allowed to consume alcohol. Knowing this you can expect the life expectancy to decrease as a result from lowering the drinking age from 21. This will occur because many physical problems stem from alcohol abuse, such as liver damage, stomach ulcers, and high blood pressure.

There are also many more risks involved for those who drink under 21. Academic failure would be one of course. Since drinking has shown to lower judgment and decision-making allowing you to assume that it will affect academic performance as well. Another risk involved are that teens are simultaneously undergoing physical changes, peer pressure, and new situations and urges, allowing them to consume alcohol can make them more vulnerable to drug and substance abuse, unplanned and unprotected sex, depression, violence,

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