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Lower The Drinking Age Essay

1533 words - 6 pages

When people turn eighteen they are finally considered an adult. They can join the army, vote, buy cigarettes or tobacco products, get a tattoo and even die for our country. Although everyone considers that person to be an adult, they are still not old enough to buy or consume alcohol. A person can be responsible enough to live on their own, make their own money, pay their own bills, and yet they are still not considered old enough to purchase or consume any type of alcohol. Lowering the drinking age to 18 would help prevent the crime and personal injuries that are caused by alcohol abuse.
Although many states are trying to get the drinking age lowered, there are many groups and national statistics that are keeping the drinking set at 21. For example, “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says laws setting the drinking age at 21 have cut traffic fatalities involving drivers by 13 percent” (Keen). They are hoping that by keeping the age set at 21, people are mature enough at this point to make smart decisions and not drink and drive. Most of the time drinking injuries and fatalities are cause by drinking and driving, so these groups do not want the age lowered at all. Also, States that are considering lowering the drinking age face opposition from Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) as they say, “Congress voted in 1984 to penalize states that set the drinking age below 21 with forfeiture of 10 percent on their federal highway funds” (Keen). Most states are not willing to give up the federal money in order to pass state laws that would lower their drinking age. Groups such as MADD try to make sure that states are aware of these restrictions so they will change their minds before passing a lower drinking age law. States such as Kentucky, Wisconsin, and South Carolina are in favor for lowering the drinking age for military personnel, while Missouri has discussed lowering it for anyone 18 and older (Keen). But the penalties that these states face in order to lower the drinking age, has stopped them from pursuing these laws. These are just a few of the many issues that are keeping most states from lowering their drinking age to 18.
It has been a rising issue within the past century to have the drinking age set at 21, but many people are more in favor of having the age set at 18. For instance, “’Raising the drinking age to 21 was passed with the very best of intentions, but it’s had the very worst of outcomes,’ stated by David J. Hanson, an alcohol policy expert” (Johnson). Many people believe that having the drinking age set at 21 was a smart idea, but it has caused many more deaths and injuries over the years. Most of these fatalities are cause from people who are underage and choose to consume alcohol. Again, “Libertarian groups and some conservative economic foundations, seeing the age limits as having been extorted by Washington, have long championed lowering the drinking age” (Johnson). These groups see that keeping the drinking...

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