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Drinking Age Essay

2035 words - 8 pages

Drinking Age

As midnight struck on November 4, 1998, the eve of Brad's 21st birthday, he went with a group of friends to Rick's American Café to celebrate his birthday. He began to play a game of "drink your age." When he had finished 21 shots and knowing that the record among his friends was 23, he drank 3 more for a total of 24 shots of liquor. He drank them in about 1-½ hours. His friends took him home and put him to bed as he passed out. His BAC continued to climb to a lethal level of .44 g/100ml, as the depressant did its work. His breathing stopped and the coroner estimates that he died at approximately 4:30 AM. He died on his 21st birthday, November 5, 1998. Tragedies similar to this one happen too often. People say that the age of 21 is an age of responsibility, and one is now responsible to drink. Well in this particular case, responsibility was not there. Having an age limit for alcohol use does nothing if individuals are not educated to use alcohol properly. Lowering the age limit to 18 will not cause any more problems that are significantly present already with the age limit of 21.
In the great land of America, responsibility is a measure of one's age. Many privileges are granted when one reaches a certain age. At age 13, you can see a PG-13 movie; at age 15, you can begin driving; at age 18, you can buy tobacco products, vote, serve our country in the armed forces, get married and enter into a legal contract; and finally at age 21, you can drink alcohol. Studies illustrate a decrease in drunken driving fatalities when the minimum drinking age was raised. That may be true in America, but why? Why does America have these problems? European countries, specifically Great Britain, are exceptionally lenient with drinking and they do not have as many drinking and driving problems as America does. Citizens of Britain grow up with alcohol and they know how to be very responsible with it. Americans are extremely strict involving alcohol use until you age to 21. With such a late age to begin drinking, how can someone know his or her limits? A good example of this is Brad; he had an excessive amount of alcohol that his body could not handle. Many believe growing up with alcohol gives you a more responsible approach to drinking.
At the age of 18, one is entitled to most of the privileges of American society, except for alcohol consumption. How come at 18 you can be drafted into the armed forces and fight for your country possibly risking your life, but still are not responsible enough to drink? Many people argue that at the age of 18, one has not matured enough to drink. If an individual is not mature enough to drink, why is it he or she can own a gun? A gun seems a little more dangerous than drinking alcohol responsibly. If someone is not responsible enough to drink, how can they be responsible enough to get married or enter into a legal contract that could jeopardize their entire life? These arguments just...

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