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Should The Drinking Age Be 18?

1338 words - 6 pages

The legal drinking age in the United States is twenty-one. There are only a handful of countries that have the same high drinking age limit. In fact, some countries have absolutely no limit on the age of when a person can legally drink alcohol. Many groups are very vocal about their desire to see the legal drinking age reduced. Part of their argument stems from the fact that in most areas of life a person is accepted as an adult at the age of eighteen. They can vote, engage in military service and in most cases get married. With this amount of responsibility why should they not be allowed to start drinking legally at the same age?
Some people say that by lowering the drinking age a parent can help teach their children how to drink responsibly before the age of twenty-one. In fact, this matter is to consider because everything has to be learned. Therefore, children can be taught how to drink responsibly. Ruth C. Engs, Professor at Indiana University is one of the people supporting this argument. According to Professor Ruth C. the legal drinking age should be lowered to eighteen allowing young adults to drink in controlled environments. In addition, children will be able to drink in presence of their parents or any other responsible adult. However, most of the states do not allow teens to consume alcohol in the presence of their parents or a legal guardian before the age of twenty-one. The limit of twenty-one years old is pushing young people to drink faster. As it is difficult to obtain alcohol, when they do they drink a lot, and fast. They drink to be drunk with games.
Sam Tracy chairman of Students and member at ACLU of Connecticut is also one of the people supporting the thesis. According to Sam Tracy, the age limit of twenty-one years old is doing more harm than good. Teenagers hide and drink what makes them vulnerable and less likely to get proper medical attention if they need. Unfortunately, a lot of overdose cases occurred and there were no one around to help those teens. This has happened since the minimum age been increase to twenty-one two decades ago. In addition, it would be better to let them drink under supervision. Sam Tracy suggests that the government revised this law and decrease the minimum age to eighteen.
In the 70s, the legal drinking age was lowered from twenty to eighteen years old in many states because it had become untenable to deny a beer to a young Vietnam veterans returning from the front. However, the limit of twenty one years old is in effect in all states since a 1984 law eliminated subsidies for highways to any state that does not apply. When the drinking age has been increased to twenty-one it decreased the percentage of accidents related to alcohol. However, Harvard Professor Jeffrey Miron concluded that any life-saving effect in those states that first raised the drinking age was only temporary, occurring largely in the first year or two after switching to the minimum legal drinking age of twenty...

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