Keeping The Drinking Age At 21

1414 words - 6 pages

The drinking age has not always been 21 in the United States. In fact it was fairly recently that for a variety of reasons the government agreed to pass President Reagan’s law prohibiting anyone under the age of 21 to buy alcohol. In the early 1980’s the drinking age was raised to 21 nationwide in the United States. In short the U.S created this law due to the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984. This law essentially told states that they had to pass a law stating a minimum drinking age of 21 or lose up to ten percent of their federal highway funding. Since ten percent of the funding is a number that none of the states could afford to lose, all 50 states were soon on board with the law. From 1984 onward the law in the United States has been you are only allowed to drink if you are 21 and older (with a few exceptions). However since this law has been passed there has been much controversy. Since 18 years old is the official age a person becomes an “adult” in the United States, many believe that this should also be the legal drinking age. However, due to the problems they experienced when the drinking age was 18 years old, I believe that the drinking age should stay at 21.
As stated before an argument frequently used when concerning lowering the drinking age is as a legal adult at age 18, one should be allowed to consume alcohol. However, the consumption of alcohol is a privilege not a right and due to the dangers posed by irresponsible drinking the age one should be allowed to drink should be higher. Just because one is considered an “adult” does not mean they posses the responsibility to drink legally. There are many rights in the United States that have a high age of initiation besides just consuming alcohol. “A person cannot legally purchase a handgun, gamble in a casino (in most states), or adopt a child until age 21, rent a car (for most companies) at age 25, or run for President until age 35” (Drinking Age, 2014, p. 1). These privileges all have a higher age of being able to legally do because with these rights come more responsibility than many 18 year olds would posses.
The next thing to address is another frequent argument that is used in the defense of changing the drinking age to 18 years old. This is the argument that states if one is enlist in the army at age 18 then one should be allowed to drink. If he or she is responsible enough to defend our country then should he or she be responsible enough to have a beer? The answer to this question is yes. However this is situational. If one is actually enlisting in the army and going off to war at age 18 then yes, they are responsible enough to enjoy the privilege of drinking. As a matter of fact, this is the case. “The commander of a military installation may waive the drinking age requirements within his unit, if such commander determines that the exemption is justified by special circumstances” (Gholipour, 2014, p. 1). Therefore, the...

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