The debate of the drinking age has been long discussed throughout America. The drinking age has been 21 for the last 22 years, and people around the country have wondered weather or not this was the right call. People say that 18 year olds may not be mature enough to drink alcohol and might not know when to stop. It isn’t that teenagers don’t know how to stop, but rather have not been properly taught when enough has been consumed or how to drink responsibly. Changing the drinking age from 21 to 18 years old will take the thrill that teens get from breaking the law while drinking, will no longer give them the idea that drinking is the final stage of adulthood and full maturity, and will no longer force teenagers to drink in unsupervised areas.
A major reason behind teenagers drinking is because of the thrills that it entails. Not only does it give teenagers the feeling of being drunk, but it also give them the thrill of breaking the law. According to Ruth Engs, drinking by teenagers is seen as a “forbidden fruit, a badge of rebellion against authority and a symbol of adulthood.” (Why the Drinking Age Should Be Lowered) ProCon.org says that if America changed the drinking age back to 18, then drinking for these youths would become more of a normal activity. They wouldn’t hide it from their parents or law officers, so they would be less prone to injuries or deaths. Then they would be under proper adult supervision, and at a place where they can learn how to drink responsibly (Drinking Age).
According to John McCardell, the change of the drinking age to 21 has become counterproductive. McCardell told 60 Minutes that, “This law has been an abysmal failure. It hasn’t reduced or eliminated drinking. It has simply driven it underground, behind closed doors, into the most risky and least manageable of settings.” (The Debate On Lowering the Drinking Age)
For many teenagers, the feeling of adulthood is one of the most sought after goals. Once an adolescent reaches the age of 18, they have the ability to join or be drafted into the military, vote, buy tobacco, get married, serve on a jury, sign contracts and be prosecuted as adults. They have all of these rights, so why is it that the only thing an 18 year old can’t do is drink alcohol? Once you hit the age of 18, you are an adult, and should be treated as an adult, so therefore you should be trusted enough that you can make your own decisions on how much alcohol should be consumed (Drinking Age).
According to Engs, teenagers under the age of 21 are more like to be ‘binge’ drinkers. Binge drinking means that you consume over 5 drinks at least once a week. Engs claims that 22% of teeneagers under the age of 21 are heavy drinkers, whereas those of the age of 21 that drink heavily is only 18%. Also, among only drinkers, 32% of underage drinkers are heavy drinkers, while only 24% of legal age drinkers are heavy drinkers (Why the Drinking Age Should be Lowered). ProCon.org also argues that...