Why the Drinking Age Should be Lowered
The drinking age in the United States should be lowered to age 18. There are several reasons why it makes sense to make this change in the nation. These would include, for example, the fact that drinking is treated as an adult privilege and yet when a person attains the age of 18, an adult, he or she cannot yet drink. The case against lowering the drinking age is not very strong; many of the points made against it should not be considered.
First and foremost, the strongest argument for lowering the drinking age has to do with the American standard of adulthood. By our standards, a person is considered an adult when he or she turns 18. Adults are give specific privileges; why shouldn't the opportunity to drink alcohol be one of them. When a person in the United States turns 18, he or she can vote, be drafted, buy cigarettes, buy lottery tickets, pay taxes, serve on juries, be tried as an adult, and get married. All of these things require a certain amount of responsibility, just as drinking does, and yet 18-year olds can do them. Therefore, they should be allowed to drink as well.
A big argument against lowering the drinking age is that many people feel that 18-year olds have not attained the level of responsibility that is necessary to be able to drink. An interesting fact is that, during the years of 1982- 1986, minimum drinking ages in the U.S. varied anywhere from 18-21. Despite this, the number of alcohol-related
traffic fatalities for people under the age of 21 dropped 14%. (ICAP). In addition to this fact, it is completely wrong to make a generalization that implies that only 18-20 year olds are irresponsible. Often times people involved in alcohol-related accidents are people who are of age to drink.
A third point to be made in favor of lowering the drinking age deals with human nature. We as people love to rebel against authority. As someone once said, "We want what we can't have." This is the case with alcohol. People ages 18-20 drink simply because they are not supposed to. In the history of the United States, Prohibition was enacted twice, first in the 1850's, and then later in the 1920's. These efforts to prevent drinking created serious social problems such as widespread disrespect for law, the growth of organized crime, and the...