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Lowering Drinking Age May Be An Advantage on Human Race:]

In 1987, the Legal Drinking Age was raised to 21 for all alcoholic beverages. This was said to decrease the number of Alcohol-Related fatalities. However, this has done nothing but made drinking more underground than it has ever been, and made it more hazardous for everybody’s health. Why is the drinking age 21 when you are practically an adult at 18? Besides that, if you are allowed to make decisions as big as the ones you are responsible for when you turn 18, why are you not allowed to choose whether or not you can have a drink? Drinking represents adulthood in the eyes of many young adults, and breaking the rule makes them feel like they are more powerful than the government. Another bad thing about the drinking age is that it encourages irresponsible and unsupervised drinking.

Young adults are always trying to rebel against authority. From the moment they start their teenage years they are always trying to find ways to prove that they should be treated like adults. By prohibiting them to drink alcohol, they feel as if you were treating them inferiorly, therefore, they must prove you wrong. To do this; they drink, and that’s not good nor making an improvement in our life quality. By lowering the drinking age, you would stop making alcohol such “an enticing forbidden fruit, a badge of rebellion against authority […] a symbol of adulthood” (Prof. Engs) that the population must get in order to prove their superiority. By doing this, the thrill of breaking the law, would be gone. This would decrease underage, unsupervised drinking.

What happens when you prohibit someone from taking something? The next time they see it, and they do not have anybody checking on them, they will take more than whatever is good for them. This is the situation with alcoholic beverages. If you do not allow the young adults to get it in moderation, while being supervised, they will take way more than what is “recommended,” and they will drink it in many irresponsible ways. Mainly “Binge Drinking”, the act of drinking 5 or more different alcoholic drinks mixed together, will have negative effects. This way of drinking, usually done in locked dorms or off-campus apartments, is one of the main reasons why people get seriously intoxicated by alcohol. According to some researches, most of the Binge drinkers are 21 years and younger. The statistics show that “22% of all students younger than 21 compared to 18% over 21 years of age are heavy drinkers.” (Prof. Engs) The young adults do this because they do not know when is the next time they will get to drink an alcoholic beverage so they make a game out of it, a very dangerous game, and they drink as much as they can and as fast as they can.

Since the 1970s, vehicle fatalities have been decreasing; however, this is not necessarily because of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, which was not passed until 1984. There are many reasons why the accident level has been going down, and if the Act is not the main reason as to why this is happening, I do not see why we cannot try to enhance this act, so that instead of prohibiting it, we can work with it. Some reasons the fatality level is lowering, besides the NMDA Act, is because of several enhancements to other laws, and a lot of new improvements to automobiles. For example, the uprising usage of seatbelts and airbags, the quality of automobiles, the “Designated Driver”, the ignition interlock, taxi services outside of establishments that distribute alcoholic beverages, and the education given about Drunk Driving to young adults/students.

There are many arguments towards keeping the age level locked at 21 years old. However, some statements cannot be proven to be completely true. For example, “Raising the MLDA back to 21 has decreased the percentage of fatal traffic accidents for those between 18-21 by 13% … from 1975-2002” (ProCon) this statement is not completely true, considering the fact that the Act was not passed until 1984, and in the 1970s many states were, rather, lowering their drinking age. This proves that the NMDA Act does not necessarily improve on the rate of traffic accidents. Another statement against it is that young adults aren’t responsible enough to take on this responsibility. They would be if we taught them how to, besides, if they are responsible enough to vote for president, and responsible enough to drive, then they should be allowed to make this choice and take responsibility for it.

To make the lower drinking age work, we will need the help of the parents, the teachers and every role model possible. We need to teach the younger generations the disadvantages of drinking regularly, but we must not prohibit it. We should not embrace it, but not take it away. We must teach the young adult/teen how to deal with the “forbidden fruit”. Teach them how to take a sufficient amount that will hurt them or others. If we can manage to teach young adults this, we could have what some Associations are referring to as “Drinking License.” This will be given to the privileged “adult” once they pass a “class” and learn what they need to know to be responsible drinkers. It is time to approach this in a different manner, not to prohibit it, not to pretend it is not happening, But by making the safest environment possible for this to be taken care of appropriately. It’s time to try to improve our life quality.

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DarkIsThyThought said...
Mar. 12, 2012 at 8:45 am:
I really liked how you looked at this subject at a different angle! My only problem is how it seemed like you liked to drink. It is true though about kids liking it as a forbidden fruit.
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