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Usa Drinking Age Controversy Essay

1197 words - 5 pages

USA Drinking Age Controversy

In a society where alcohol is the most commonly used drug among today’s teenagers, the debate continues whether or not to keep the drinking age at 21.

According to the World Health Organization, the United States currently has the highest minimum drinking age of any country in the world (other than places where alcohol is forbidden or illegal), which is 21 years. Most of the drinking ages around the world are 18 years old, if not even younger. Some countries don’t even have a set drinking age.

The National Minimum Drinking Age Act was put into effect in 1984. This required that all states within the U.S. make it Illegal for anyone under 21 years old ...view middle of the document...

It is also reported that more than 13 million United States drinkers are underage.

“If bars and liquor stores can freely provide alcohol to teenagers, parents will be out of the loop when it comes to their children's decisions about drinking. Age 21 laws are designed to keep such decisions within the family where they belong.” Says Robert Voas, a senior research scientist at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation. “Our society, particularly our children and grandchildren, will be immeasurably better off if we not only leave the minimum drinking age law as it is, but enforce it better, too.”

According to Will Wilkinson, a researcher at the CATO Institute, the drinking age should be eliminated altogether. “There's certainly evidence that if we got rid of age limits, teens would drink more. But drinking more is a drinking problem only in the minds of neoprohibitionists. In an America without a minimum drinking age, we would shift our focus from demon rum and car crash statistics to creating an environment where parents are expected to supervise their children and alcohol would become for teens just another thing, like bicycles or swimming pools that canm either make your day or take your life.” reports the statistic that over 15 million Americans depend on alcohol every day. 500,000 of those Americans are between the age of 9 and 12 years old.

The National Minimum Purchase Age Act was made to try and encourage every U.S. state to make the age of 21 the legal age that you could buy alcohol. According to an estimated 1,071 lives were saved in 1987 alone by this act. From 1975 - 1996, the estimated number of lives saved reached nearly 17,000. There was also a 63 percent decrease in drunken driving accident deaths among minors.

“The flaunting of the current age-specific prohibition is readily apparent among young people who, since the increase in the minimum legal drinking age, have tended to drink in a more abuse manner than do those of legal age. This, of course, is exactly what happened in the general public during national Prohibition.” States Ruth C. Engs.

According to George Mason University, almost 80% of high school seniors admit trying at least one drink, and about 50 percent say they have consumed alcohol sometime during the last month.

“Today, irrefutable scientific evidence supports the fact that the early introduction of drinking is the...

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