Lower the Legal Age Limit for Drinking
COM/220 Research Writing
Theresa De Souza
Let Them Drink
Driving over to a friend’s house to hang out; when they say they signed up for the military and have to leave for boot camp in 2 weeks. It comes as a surprise, but it is a happy occassion for them and celebration is at hand, but not being 21, going to a club, a bar, or even the safety of someones home is out of the question because it would be illegal. It isn’t necessarily fair that a person can serve in the armed forces, sign a legally binding contract, or even get married, but they legally can’t have a celebratory drink. This is what some people are trying to fight for, ...view middle of the document...
You can have a 13 year old who is more mature than someone two or three times their age, but this leads to the question of when is a good age to allow someone to be able to drink. There are people who think teens are too young to drink especially with all of the problems with teens binge drinking. Binge drinking is bad no matter what age the person is, it is harmful to a person both mentally and physically, but binge drinking is higher among teens compared to other age groups as show here:
This graph shows the percentage of teens ages 12-20 that are either binge or heavy drinkers.
While binge drinking is a problem among teens, I don’t think it would be such a problem if the age was lowered, the reasoning behind this is most teens are either graduating high school or are in their first years of college and this is usually the time when they do their partying. A statistic provided the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states that binge drinking starts as low as age 13 and peaks in young adults ages 18-22. During this time they drink more amounts of alcohol because it seems like they have too, the mindset of a teen in college is that I don’t get to do this very often so I will do as much as I can right now. This leads to student’s binge drinking because it is, in most cases, a rarity to get to drink and this actually causes other problems as well, such as underage fatalities or health problems.
“In 2005, 16% of all drivers age 16 to 20 who died in motor vehicle crashes had been drinking alcohol” (NHTSA 2006) If you notice the ages are 16-20 not 16-21. If younger people could drink this could prevent this because they wouldn’t have to feel like they are hiding from parents, guardians, law enforcement, or anyone they would be afraid of being caught by. If the drinking age was lowered than it wouldn’t be a problem drinking at a bar instead of hiding it and drinking somewhere unsupervised or unsafe.
Lowering the drinking age could also lower the amount of alcohol younger people drink because it would be introduced in their own household rather than somewhere else, doing this could possibly give someone time to teach their children to drink in moderation and the fact they are able to drink in home might cut back on the binge drinking because it wouldn’t be such a taboo. It could also help in the sense that since they would have easier access to alcohol especially more frequently they wouldn’t feel the need to go out and drink all the time or if they do they wouldn’t feel the need to drink as much.
With all of the underage drinking going on, enforcement to stop this has taken a major part of law enforcements time and a large amount of money. The reason the legal drinking age was raised to 21 was because the federal government was threatening to not give states that left the age at 18 money to fix their state highways. So all states changed the legal drinking age to 21 thinking they would be getting the money for their...