An Argument in Favor of Lowering Alcohol Legal Age to 18

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Lower the Age on the Alcohol Law

It all starts with one drink, just one. This drink then multiplies as teenagers get comfortable with alcohol and can begin to tolerate the amount that they consume. Nowadays, minors are starting to experiment with alcohol at high school and college parties before turning twenty one. The police have been giving out tickets to these students when they are caught, but that has been proven to not be effective. The legal drinking age should be lowered to eighteen because that’s when one is considered as an adult, underage drinkers are drinking regardless of the law, and the drinking age of twenty one increases the chance of alcohol related problems among teenagers.

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The drinking age should be lowered to eighteen because at eighteen one is fully considered an adult. Consider these things: voting, enlisting into the armed forces, and being able to purchase tobacco. These items are just a few of the responsible decisions that one can make once he becomes eighteen. One is entrusted with the duty to vote for the next leader of their country and deciding whether or not he would take a bullet for his country, but cannot have a sip of a cocktail. According to Reynolds (2011), says that college students face “the absurd phenomenon of… [being] deemed insufficiently mature to appreciate the risks” even though they are considered responsible to make other adult decisions. To provide a rebuttal for this argument, one would say that the teenage brain is not yet fully capable of handling amounts of alcohol. Everyone has different tolerance levels when it comes to drinking alcohol. In order to find out what that tolerance is, one needs to experiment with it. So, authorities shouldn’t group people under the age of twenty one in the same category of not being able to tolerate alcohol. Tolerance does not come with age.

Another reason that the drinking age should be lowered is because minors are already doing it regardless of the law. According to the CBS News (2009), enforcing the law by giving tickets to underage drinkers isn’t working and that “all [they] did was push it further underground”. You can’t enforce a law that is unenforceable. A solution to this problem from the “Drinking Age Debate” video would be to create an alcohol education program, similar to a driver’s education program. This program would educate those who are underage about the content of alcohol and the dangers of alcohol. Once the underage person completes the course and passes the exam, he is given a license to drink and if violated, the license gets taken away. A refute to this argument would be the police officers could crack down more on underage drinkers and give a ticket to and arrest them if the law is violated. Realistically speaking, police officers will not be able to catch all cases of underage drinking and as the video states, they should focus more on the overconsumption of alcohol and lowering the number of DUIs.

The final reason that eighteen should be the legal drinking age is because when the age remains at twenty one it increases the chance of alcohol related problems occurring in underage drinkers, such as susceptibility to alcohol poisoning, alcohol addiction, and date rape. When underage drinkers attend parties, they often start binge drinking because they do not know the next time they will be able to have alcohol again. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the results of underage drinking are suicide attempts, becoming a victim of date rape, DUIs occurring, and doing poorly in school (Miller, Naimi, Brewer, & Jones, 2007). If the drinking age were to be lowered to eighteen, there would be less of a chance of binge drinking because people eighteen years of age and older would be able to know the next time they will have alcohol. An opposing argument would be how having the drinking age at twenty one saves lives because it saves nine hundred families from burying underage drinkers every year (CBS News, 2009). Underage drinkers wouldn’t have to be buried if they were allowed to legally drink and not have to binge drink from not knowing when they will have alcohol again.

This cycle of underage drinking is dangerous and should be stopped. The enforcement of the law is not working with just giving tickets and arresting underage drinkers. The action that should be taken is the legalization of eighteen year olds buying and consuming alcoholic beverages. The law should be changed because at eighteen one is considered an adult and responsible enough to make decisions, underage drinkers drink regardless of the law in place, and keeping the age at twenty one increases the chance of one having alcohol related problems in life. If legislation were to change this law, underage drinkers would be able to drink in public and not have to hide their drinking. By pushing the underage drinking underground, the potential for binge drinking and other risky behaviors can become greater than it already is. To stop tragedies among underage drinkers and the families of underage drinkers, the law should be changed to make the legal drinking age eighteen instead of twenty one.

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