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This Essay Argues That The Legal Age To Drink In The U.S. Is To Low. It Supports This With Explaining How It Would Help Binge Drinking, And Gives Examples.

870 words - 3 pages

One of the most controversial debates facing the federal government is whether to lower the age for legal drinking of alcohol by an individual. Nationwide, the legal age to drink alcohol is 21. In 1987, The Minimum Legal Drinking Age Law was passed to "make it illegal for any person who is less than 21 years old to either purchase, possess, or consume alcohol beverages or to misrepresent their age to obtain such beverages" (Policy and legislation, 1996). That law was passed by both the legislature and the senate, partly in response to the reported increase of serious traffic accidents by minors that had consumed alcohol before the accident. Failure to comply resulted in loss of federal funding for the nation's highways. The government claimed that by raising the age to 21, it would ultimately lower the numbers of alcohol related accidents on the nation's highways. I believe that more good than bad would result if the legal age to consume alcohol was lowered to 18.The leading organization that pushed for the increase in the age for drinking was Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD). MADD was formed in 1984. Since its start, more than 2,300 anti-drunk driving laws have been passed (NHTSA 1996). Members of this organization believe that if we remove alcohol from the hands and mouths of individuals under the age of 21, fewer alcohol related fatalities will occur. The government claimed that by raising the age to 21, it would ultimately lower the numbers of alcohol related accidents on the nation's highway. Unfortunately, this has not been proven. Yet, they continue using this information as a tool to keep the legal age consumption at 21.The Indiana University Human Subjects Committee did one particular study on 56 universities in the United States from 1987-1988. The results reported that "the proportion of students who drank declined in the period when there were major nationwide increased in minimum purchase age laws . (Engs & Hanson, 1998).On the side of lowering the age to 18, the same study at Indian University showed that the proportion of underage students who drank (81.2%), was actually higher than the proportion of legal-age students who drank (75.3%). While some individuals may see this report and argue that at least the amount of alcohol consumption is decreasing among those under 21 since the drinking age has been increased, reality is that this has been occurring since about 1980. This decrease began occurring before the states were required to raise the drinking age. There has...

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