Should the Legal Drinking Age be Lowered?

March 7, 2011
By Anonymous

Is the human brain developed enough at 18 to where people can make proper, safe choices when intoxicated? This is the question that gains the spotlight every once and awhile in Washington D.C. For years the legal alcohol consumption age has been set at 21, but some are arguing about whether that requirement should be lowered. I firmly believe that the law is fine as it is, and that just because one may have the right to vote doesn’t mean that they are not matured enough to make responsible decisions.

Some argue that once you turn 18 you are given all the rights of a full United States citizen so why should you not be able to drink until you turn 21? The answer is simple, even at 18 you are still not as likely to make safe choices concerning alcohol like a 21 year-old would. Hundreds, no thousands of teens die each year due to drinking and driving accidents, not to mention all the other people they killed in the process. Approximately 21,000 lives have been saved by monitoring the higher standard, and even though it is impossible to keep tabs on all teens and their alcohol, this has undeniably prevented many more fatalities.

The next being that an early start on alcohol consumption often leads to overuse and even alcohol abuse. Teens are far more likely to have alcohol-related problems down the road than the older demographics, though the good news is that the number of underage drinkers has decreased since the law was first passed. Also due to the pressures of the teenager’s ever-changing world, (peer pressure, family troubles, money issues, etc.) alcohol abuse could often lead to other things like drug use and behavioral issues.

In the end it is far safer to keep the minimum legal drinking age at 21, American teenagers are more likely to drive under the influence if the age requirement were to be lowered. This puts everyone else on the road, including the teens themselves, in danger of car accident injuries or even fatalities. Just because you can vote doesn’t mean you can make responsible decisions.

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