Getting Rid Of The Drinking Age.

990 words - 4 pages

When teen-agers turn 18, their parents tell them that they are adults and send them into the world. They go to college, get a job, join the military. They do grown-up things like vote, pay taxes and become parents. But they can't go to the bar for a beer because when it comes to liquor, they are still just kids. People under the age of 21 grow up looking forward to finally being able to legally purchase and consume alcohol. But many don't wait until that time and find a way around the legal system.The United States government feels that people under the age of 21 are not responsible enough to consume alcohol so in 1987 they enacted a law to raise the legal drinking age from 18 years old to 21 years old. People whom support the current drinking age use facts such as the ones stated by Ruth C. Engs "those under the age of 21 are more likely to be binge drinkers." Some statistics from here research include 22 percent of all students under 21 become binge drinkers compared to 18 percent of all those over age 21. Among drinkers only, 32 percent of underage drinkers are binge drinkers compared to 24 percent legal age drinkers who binge drink. These are big differences between the people old enough to drink and those who are under age drinkers. Ralph Hinginson, a Boston University professor and researcher, said the main reason to keep the drinking age at 21 is that alcohol related traffic accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers.However from research done I learned that there has been a decrease in drinking and driving related variables. Which means a decrease in drunk driving accidents and drunk driving fatalities and also in drunk driving citations. However these declines started way before the national 1987 law which forced states to only sale to those individuals 21 years of age and higher. These declines are a result of many factors not just the new drinking age. Some of these factors are as followed, education concerning drunk driving, designated drivers programs, increased seat belt and air bag usage, safer automobiles, lower speed limits, and free taxi services from drinking establishments. And this list can go on forever. While there has been a decrease in drunk-driving incidents there has been an increase in other problems related to binge drinking among teens. These increases are mainly due to the new legal drinking age. Here are some of the facts that I was able to dig up. I will show you statistics from before the law and how they changed after the law. From 1982 to 1987 about 46% of students reported "vomiting after drinking." This jumped to over 50% after the law change. Significant increases were also found for other variables: "cutting class after drinking" jumped from 9% to almost 12%; "missing class because of...

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