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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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
today at 5:20 pm
i love this so much!
Arti.M said...
Feb. 24, 2017 at 2:15 am
Good writing piece. I totally agree with you
Lolz said...
Sept. 23, 2016 at 12:20 pm
Now its six
mplo said...
Aug. 24, 2015 at 8:36 am
Ouch! I am so sorry about what happened to your sister as a result of constantly imbibing with drugs and alcohol. Here's hoping that she someday will be able to get some help so that she can regain at least some semblance of normalcy.
AshleySD said...
May 18, 2015 at 10:02 am
mplo replied...
Aug. 24, 2015 at 8:27 am
I agree that this article is no laughing matter. All too often, neither are the consequences of drinking and driving, and just plain overindulging alcohol, especially people under 25 years of age (That's when the brain generally finishes developing.).
ocean-blue said...
Mar. 12, 2015 at 10:08 pm
I agree! You have some really good thoughts here, I appreciate them =)
killerclownz15 said...
Feb. 3, 2015 at 2:44 pm
I'm a teen and I believe that if you can go and die for your country at 18 then you should be able to drink as well.
AshleySD replied...
May 18, 2015 at 10:04 am
That's the thing. Yes, some people are responsible enough to drink at 18 years old, but others might not ever be responsible enough. It is probably impossible to come up with a system that could completely satisfy everyone.
mplo replied...
Aug. 24, 2015 at 8:30 am
18 years old isn't a good age to allow drinking. While it's true that 18 is young adulthood, the brain doesn't finish developing until the mid-20's (i. e. around 25 or so), which makes 18 year olds even more susceptible to the damaging affects of alcohol.
Lexi2634 said...
Jan. 7, 2014 at 10:00 am
I agree with this passage! Hahahahha
rheame said...
Oct. 10, 2013 at 8:10 am
ya you are quite right . and i believe  that every thing in a limit is good.
qwinc said...
Jun. 7, 2013 at 9:25 am
 this is true but i think 21 is a good age to be able to drink
Rap Rabbit said...
Feb. 28, 2013 at 9:43 am
I understand where you guys are coming from, but take Germany for example: The age where you can drink is 12 with a parent or guardian present. This is obviously before they can drive, and they don't think alcohol is that big of a deal once they get to that age, and thats why the number of drunk driving accidents in Germany are so much lower than in the USA. I really liked your piece though!
AshleySD replied...
May 18, 2015 at 10:06 am
Your point is correct. If people are used to the idea of alcohol and being able to drink it, it won't be a big deal once they reach their college years.
ChickenLegHouse said...
Nov. 29, 2012 at 8:32 am
What we need is more sever laws on drunk driving. In some countrys they just take your car right away if you're cought. So what do people do? They ride there bikes home from the bar.
mplo replied...
Aug. 24, 2015 at 8:38 am
Turkey's a good example of a country that's tough on drunk driving. In Turkey, a person who's caught driving while drunk is pulled over and made to walk 20 miles until s/he sobers up.i
Kiashaw828 said...
Oct. 25, 2012 at 9:52 am
this article is very good, i agree with everything you say.
Solar said...
Apr. 23, 2012 at 8:07 am
I agree! I certainly don't drink! And when I was 10, I swore never to drink. Even a little.
beautifulspirit This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 7, 2012 at 5:50 pm
Unfortunately there is no specific or exact age upon reaching maturity. And teens are still gonna find some way to abuse the use of alcohol no matter what the laws are. This is reality---but you're right. We can monitor this situation better---not just for kids but for everyone. 
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