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Drinking Age: A Personal Opinion Essay

1195 words - 5 pages

Go to war. Vote. Sit on a jury. Sign a legally binding contract. Get married. These are all things you can do at the age of 18. Drinking. That's something you have to wait for until you're 21. I know that a majority of you already drink. Additionally, I know that you are all 16 or 17. Due to that, I'm sure you'd be thrilled to know you could drink in one or two years. I believe that the drinking age should be lowered to 18. Predominately due to the fact the government believes you are responsible enough to defend your country, but not responsible enough to drink a beer. Mainly because defending the country is beneficial to society.
Copious amounts of teenagers already drink illegally. So, ...view middle of the document...

Being able to go to war, vote, and get married are all things you can do at the age of 18, but you can't drink a beer? I believe there are many reasons the drinking age should be lowered to 18. First off, you can purchase and smoke cigarettes at 18, which are just as, if not more, harmful to one's health. Additionally, at the age of 18, you are legally considered an adult and you can legally support yourself. You may not be living at home anymore, which means you are probably fairly responsible, so you should be able to be considered responsible enough to drink alcohol. According to Virginia.gov, from 1974-1981, the drinking age was 18. So, if it was okay then, why isn't it okay now?
There are a few ways to prevent binge and underage drinking. One of them is something that South Carolina and Wisconsin have come up with as a compromise. These states believe that active duty personnel under the age of 21 should be allowed to purchase and consume alcohol. Another method would be to distribute "drinking permits". They are given to people at the age of 18 and have different specifics than those of 21. For example, the individual could drink with the permission of their parent or in their parent's home, or only in restaurants and bars. The idea would be to prepare them to be safe drinkers and to help them learn about drinking appropriately, if they choose to drink (It's Time to Lower Legal Drinking Age). Statistics have also shown that programs such as D.A.R.E. are just scare tactics and do not actually prevent or fix any problems.
"If you can't have something, you are drawn to it, and the pattern is that you overindulge, and do it really quickly, in order to get it done before you get caught" (Engs). Also, when you prohibit drinking, it pushes underage drinking to places that are uncontrolled and unsupervised. So teenagers should just be allowed to have what they want. Chances are, after they have it, they will do it less because it's no longer fun, dangerous, and risky. Why is it that at age 18 you are told to "be more responsible" and "act your age" but you're still being treated like a child?
You are trusted with so many things. You are obligated to so many things. You are responsible for so...

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