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Drinking Laws This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

     A strong belief of mine is that the drinking age should be increased. I don’t believe that at 21 most people are either mature enough or responsible enough to handle drinking. Alcohol is one of the most commonly abused drugs. The solution is simple, and I don’t see why it should not be done.

It’s common for minors to have friends who are the legal drinking age. I see people come into the store where I work who are clearly buying alcohol for minors. Teens will wait outside while the 21-year-old buys the alcohol. This frustrates me no end.

It has been proved that the brain doesn’t stop growing until the age of about 23. Yes, 23 is definitely not a large gap, but it is very significant. Most people at 23 have graduated from college and are ready to start their lives. On the other hand, many 21-year-olds are still in college, enjoying parties and the alcohol that comes with them. College is a time when many experience peer pressure to party and have fun with friends, which is where the danger emerges. If we could increase the drinking age by even a few years, we could save thousands of lives.

Automobile accidents are often a result of alcohol. The news is always reporting an accident because of a drunk driver who missed a stop sign or couldn’t stay in his lane. And it’s not always the drunk driver who gets hurt or killed. Since alcohol depresses the body, it makes drinkers more relaxed and loose. Consequently, they usually walk away from these accidents unscathed. One bad mistake, one bad judgment can cause many families endless trauma. The guilt the driver eventually feels often lasts the rest of his life. No one should have to live with that, or the knowledge that a loved one was taken away because someone decided to drink and drive.

In my life, I’ve witnessed a lot of things that I wish I hadn’t and I’ve seen many things I wish I could forget. My oldest sister used to hang out with people who would get drugs from the street and have others buy alcohol so they could party. Looking back, I can see where she made her biggest mistake since what she did when she was younger screwed up the rest of her life. Her personality has changed a lot, and I don’t think it will ever be normal again, even with help.

I hate hearing about how someone drank at a party and drove home slowly and carefully, and everything turned out okay. They were lucky, but do you honestly want to take that chance? I don’t know anyone who would willingly gamble with their life just to enjoy a night of drinking. The risk is just too high.

I’m not saying we should ban alcohol, but I believe that it should be more closely monitored and controlled. There are lots of other ways to have fun with your friends that don’t involve drinking. Alcohol is a drug. It always was and it always will be. I believe we should take that into account and make some changes to the laws.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 61 comments. Post your own now!

butterflylover said...
Jan. 12, 2011 at 8:59 pm

mm i believe you are totally wrong.

maybe you should read my article and why drinking should be lowered.

its called drinking and driving laws.

black-sapphire said...
Dec. 26, 2010 at 2:55 pm
kids rebel...if we would raise the legal drinking age then i think more people would just go against it...i mean, i hardly know any kids who follow the law that you have to be 21 and im only 14 years old, so if the legal age got raised to 23 i think more people would rebel against it...but i dont know..different people mature at different ages, and in the end--its their choice on whether they are going to drink or not..
jimmydane34 said...
Dec. 13, 2010 at 11:12 pm

i argued enough about the alcohol issue. all im going to say is no matter what age you put it. everyone is going to still drink regardless. may be HARDER to get it but teenagers will always find a way.

life is dangerous, its about the freedom of choice, some people get unlucky become the victom and some arent.

i do feel remorce in people becomming the victom of dieing due to drunken drivers.


but leave your sad story out of it.

its about the whole coun... (more »)

DawnMarie said...
Dec. 13, 2010 at 10:22 am

Increasing the drinking age will only cause anger throughout the country, and more rebellion. More rebellion = you guessed it, more underage drinking. 

I believe that you should be able to drink from a young age, like 8 or 9. This might sound crazy, but children in Italy have a small glass of wine a couple times a week with their dinner. 

If we had that in the US, then people wouldn't feel the need to rebel and drink alcohol when they aren't suppose... (more »)

Sis94 replied...
Dec. 13, 2010 at 4:53 pm

You are right. people think that drugs and drinking will help them in life well its not  and i cant say i have not had a beer my self but  don't go out and do stupis things


elusiveroyalty said...
Oct. 30, 2010 at 2:26 pm
This is a good idea, but it would never actually work.  I am a teenager and, let's face it, teenagers drink and teenagers drive and teenagers do all kinds of horribly stupid things, and creating a law saying they can't do them doesn't help.  I even know some people who like doing illegal things better because it gives them a thrill.  We can sit around and think up all these gloriously simple, ideal situations, but it doesn't play out that way in the real world.
AaronLawrence said...
Oct. 27, 2010 at 11:29 am
I totally agree with you, but just to throw some things out there, a good portion of teens (and adults) drink because alcohal is a good icebreaker at parties.  Also, when you look at countries like ireland and england, wherer they have a lower drinking age, drinking problems in general are catastrophic.  Good work anyway. 
Rosey_Angel said...
Oct. 23, 2010 at 8:59 pm

I disagree, if the government trusts you to judge whether or not you're ready to give your life for this country, then why don't they trust you to drink?


Bea* =] said...
Oct. 15, 2010 at 2:11 pm

I definitely agree dat the age should be increased....people any age aren't responsible anyways..rather less people who are younger then 21..

alcohol itself should be banned.. many families every day are affected by drunk drivers...

People only think short term they never think about the consequences their actions might have..

Noble Chicken said...
Aug. 3, 2010 at 11:05 am
Drinking age should not be lowered.  Yes, once you are 18 you can vote, go to war, smoke, and get taxed.  Drinking can harm others if you can not control it.  Decisions most 18 year old might make are not the same decisions a 21 year old might make, like drink and drive, or bike, or operate heavy equipment.   I guess my point is the comparative right to drink is not the same as the others listed.
Live!Live!Live! said...
Jul. 18, 2010 at 3:50 am

   My only real thing i have to say to this post is that i completely disagree. I have been able to drink all of my life. My mother and father let me have bits of their wine, and whiskey growing up, and even my own little cup, and the same went for my five siblings. We were never raised to look at alcohol as a bad thing . . . . it just was. It can be abused! But so can ice cream, and obesity sure kills a lot of people out there! 

   Alcohol clouds your judgemen... (more »)

yellowbunny said...
Jul. 12, 2010 at 3:13 pm
sure, you can, but SHOULD you be able to?
MCRlover2011 said...
Jul. 3, 2010 at 6:35 pm
I disagree, I think it should be lowered. At 18 you can buy smokes and join the Army so why can't you buy a drink at the same age?
yellowbunny replied...
Jul. 12, 2010 at 3:14 pm
sure, you CAN, but SHOULD you be able to?
MCRlover2011 replied...
Jul. 12, 2010 at 9:20 pm
Why shouldn't we? I'm not understanding why it's such a big thing. Teens will drink, sad but true and i know a lot of stories where ppl drank themselves horribly sick because they didn't know when they would get another chance to drink. So maybe making it to where it's not a big deal to drink ppl won't ya know.... get totally jacked.
MCRlover2011 said...
Jul. 3, 2010 at 6:30 pm
I disagree, i think it should be lowered. At 18 you can join the army, buy a pack of smokes and a porn magizne, so why can't you drink as well?
LittleBit said...
Jul. 3, 2010 at 12:48 pm
very convincing,although I'm not a fan of drinking at any age.
Faerie-Dreams said...
Jun. 15, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Personally, some days I do agree with your statement that the drinking age should be raised, others it should be the same.

But whatever happens, people will still act recklessly because they are under the influence of alcohol regardless of age.

If by whatever the reason the drinking age is changed to an older age, there will still be teenagers/young adults out in the streets being drunk. Today people will very happily get their mates or kids some form of alcohol. The police can'... (more »)

Faerie-Dreams replied...
Jun. 15, 2010 at 12:05 pm
*for some reason it has been posted twice, sorry for any inconvience*
NaCheezIt said...
Feb. 8, 2010 at 8:53 pm
While your point is valid, I think that if the drinking age was raised, it would only cause more underage drinking. There would be an even wider window of ages that would try to get alcohol from over-agers.
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