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Keeping The Drinking Age At 21 And Saving Some Lives

2233 words - 9 pages


Each year, about 5,000 teens are killed or injured in traffic crashes as a result of underage drinking and about 1,900 are due to car accidents. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and U.S. Department of Transportation) In the newsletter, safety in numbers by National highway traffic administration and U.S department of transportation “Of all the people who died in motor vehicle crashes during 2012, 31 percent died in crashes involving a drunk driver, and this percentage remains unchanged for the past 10 years” (Vol 1, 2013). Crashes involving alcohol include fatal crashes in which a driver had a BAC of .01 g/ ld. or higher (Underage Drinking Statistics)). Deadly crashes involving alcohol are twice as common in teens compared to people 21 and older. This is because teens’ judgment skills are harmed more by alcohol. Teens who drink not only risk hurting themselves, they risk hurting their friends, family, and even strangers when driving intoxicated. Teens and parents both need a strong reminder that underage drinking is illegal and can have disastrous consequences. According to Health Day News, “one study found that in 2011, 36 percent of U.S. college students said they'd gone binge drinking (five or more drinks in one sitting) within the past two weeks, as compared to 43 percent of college students in 1988. Since 2006, the current law has reduced the rate of drunk driving crashes among young Americans” (Preidt, 2014 and DeJong, 2014). This proves that lives have been saved after the legal drinking age increased. According to an article in Time Magazine called “Should the Drinking Age Be Lowered?”, “lowering the drinking age to 18 would stop infantilizing college students, but it would probably kill more of them in traffic accidents” (CITE). Founder of Choose Responsibility John McCardell Jr. argues that “traffic fatalities unrelated to alcohol have increased 21% in that age group” between 1984 and 2006” (CITE). Keeping the legal drinking at 21 has helped lower the number of car accidents related to drunk driving as nowadays the ages at which most drunk driving accidents occur are 21-24 (Cloud, 2008). The current legal drinking age has been proven to save young lives by decreasing the rate of fatal car accidents involving alcohol abuse.
Alcohol’s detrimental effect on academic performance in high school and/or college also suggests the legal drinking age should stay at 21. One of the most important reasons why the drinking age is 21 is brain development and its relation to school performance and how our brain responds to alcohol in the teenage years. According to Karen Macpherson, in “National Drinking Age of 21 Successful, Popular,” research indicates that the brains of people under 21 are not fully developed, so young brains can be irreversibly damaged by alcohol (Macpherson,2005). There are high numbers of high school students who drink regularly. In the United States, one in four individuals between the ages of 12...

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