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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 69 comments. Post your own now!

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.
Silent_Act replied...
Apr. 6, 2010 at 8:44 pm
I completely agree with NaCheezIt. It would only increase underage drinking, and possibly drug use. Alcohol is a dangerous thing to be letting adults as old as 40 buy, but not only because they give it to their children, but they give themselves a reason to blame people BUT themselves if their child gets hurt because of alcohol or as a factor of being too confident that nothing will happen.
Anita This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 8, 2010 at 4:20 pm
I disagree. Yes, in a perfect world, nobody would drink until their brain has been fully developed. But have you ever heard the phrase "The forbidden fruit is always the sweetest"? If they increase the drinking age, teens are going to be even more inclined to drink because it's not allowed. I know it's stupid, but sorry, it's true.
irawr said...
Dec. 4, 2009 at 12:23 pm
I totally agree =)
Jaquie This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 4, 2009 at 6:28 am
I agree! This article is really great! Congrats on getting published!
Kirk F. said...
Nov. 28, 2009 at 3:28 am
ok i admit i have a drinking problem but i dont drink for fun or popularity or anything like that i drink to forget no its not a perminant fix but it works for the time being only problem is that time being is usualy jsut that night so i usualy have to repeat every night. yeah im under age i dont buy the alcohol i dont have some one ells buy it for me i make it myself and its only for myself no one ells. but im not out driving around killing people or fighting or destroying things i sit at home ... (more »)
Sis94 replied...
Dec. 13, 2010 at 4:55 pm
OK i see if you sit at home you will be fine just dont get stupid with it
EricBlair said...
Nov. 7, 2009 at 9:58 am
My stance on alcohol is pretty much neutral, but I'm going to have to break that stance to point out flaws in your argument.
This article suggests that age and maturity and alcohol consumption go hand in hand. They do not. 18 year olds are no more likely to go nuts with alcohol than those in their 40's.
Second, don't illusion yourself into thinking that the people likely to abuse alcohol at an early age are those likely to listen to the age laws in the first place.<... (more »)
RainInSpain replied...
Mar. 12, 2010 at 8:06 am
If you are responsible enough to obey the laws established by our country[in regards to drinking], then you are truly mature.
loganmetcalf said...
Oct. 21, 2009 at 8:05 pm
You're so right! Adult citizens of this country--citizens regarded by their government as fit to vote, sign contracts, consent to sex , use tobacco, pay taxes and serve in the military--simply do not have the right to the make adult decisions. No, they need a few years to wise up before they earn their basic human rights (otherwise their actions might not align with your personal value-judgements.)
Dokidoki-rin This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 15, 2009 at 12:14 pm
I disagree. I think the reason drinking is so popular among teens is either stress, peer pressure, or they think it's cool. If you increase it, it won't make a difference. If teens want to drink, they'll drink whether it's illegal or not. Lowering the age will make it seem less of a big deal to 18 year olds, and if drinking isn't a big deal- some teens might lose interest.
But I do agree that it's abused way too much. :(
Burrugh'sLunch replied...
Oct. 16, 2009 at 4:07 pm
You are absolutely correct! However, when alcohol is not a big deal to eighteen year-olds, will they not look for something else, maybe dabble with some marajuana? That is what we do not want, alcohol is the lesser of two evils.
dragonfan replied...
Oct. 27, 2009 at 6:23 pm
i agree if it was lowed teens would stop drinking but i agree with Burrugh'sLunch too because the probably would go to tobacco, marijuana so its a lose lose situation =( And i don't believe alcohol is a drug but it is addictive (your writing was vary good tho.)
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