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Is It Right? Essay

1287 words - 6 pages

An abundance of people start to drink during young adulthood. In the last 30 days roughly 39% of high schoolers drank some amount of alcohol (CDC). Alcohol has been around for tens of thousands of years and it’s always been an underlying issue. My question is, “Why should we lower the legal drinking age”? Current proposals to lower the minimum legal drinking age to 18 would have some benefits like increasing revenue for bars and liquor stores. However the risks surpass the benefits. Many people think that if you’re 18 you’re portrayed as an adult, you’re old enough to serve your country, vote, and make your own decisions. In some cases this could be true, but lowering the drinking age would ...view middle of the document...

This is a disturbing fact because doctors are seeing kids come into the emergency room with blood alcohol levels of up to four to five times the legal driving limit of .08, which may end up deadly (Listfield). Additionally younger people metabolize alcohol differently than older people do. Simply put, it’s easier for a younger person to reach a drunken state. Furthermore an 18 year olds brain isn’t fully developed yet so inebriation will cause a younger person to more irrational decisions.
Secondly lowering the legal drinking age would only raise the accident and fatal accident rates. The accident rates are already high with teen drivers, adding alcohol to the equation would only worsen things. Note that the legal drinking age has been 21 since 1987. In 2010: “approximately 189,000 emergency room visits by persons underage 21 for injuries and other conditions linked to alcohol.” Also in 2010 “10,228 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly one-third (31%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States” (CDC) and that is without 18-20 year old legally purchasing alcohol. There is about one death every 50 seconds from an alcohol related crash according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Moreover there would be alarming health consequences to lowering the drinking age. Dr. Crews states "If you start drinking early, you're 40% to 60% more likely to become an alcoholic, regardless of family history" (Listfield). This could lead to increased likelihood of developing liver or kidney problems. In 2010 there were approximately 189,000 emergency room visits by persons under age 21for injuries and other conditions linked to alcohol(CDC).
Equally important, lowering the drinking age would greatly affect women. Alan Mozes, a reporter for Healthday, discovered that: “Women who matured when the legal drinking age was twenty- one throughout the United States were less likely to be victims of domestic violence, homicide, and suicide later in life than those who matured when the legal age was eighteen.” Additionally, women who had matured when the legal drinking age was below 21 had a 15 percent higher risk of dying from homicide (Mozes). On the other hand men would also be affected by alcohol. Mozes did an experiment that analyzed both men and women who grew up in states with the minimum drinking age under 21, and he found that they: “engaged in higher rates of alcohol and drug use as adults, and had a higher rate of drink-driving accidents, homicides and”. Further analysis, over a period of time, found that women were more likely to be murdered...

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