Drinking alcohol is too dangerous to be allowed at teen age. There is no single mind about this issue. In some countries, the youth is allowed to drink alcohol at the age of eighteen; in other countries, it is illegal to buy alcohol until a person is twenty one. There has been many debates devoted to this issue. Obviously, both age have their advantages and disadvantages. The main aim is to realize at what age the youth can be allowed to buy and drink alcohol. This essay is aimed at studying this issue. In the essay, I will outline the main advantages and disadvantages of both ages, and prove that drinking age in the United States of America should not be lowered to eighteen years.
The minimum legal drinking age is eighteen years
Some researchers state that drinking age should be lowered to eighteen years. The main argument is that eighteen is the age when a person receives all the responsibilities and rights of the adulthood. Turning eighteen, a person is allowed to vote, get married, sign contracts, etc.; a person is responsible for life and death. Hence, a person should be allowed to take the responsibility for one’s own life and safety. Besides, the researchers argue that the minimum legal drinking age of twenty one is the violation of the rights of people aged 18 to 20. Moreover, lowering drinking age in the United States of America means that teens will not break the law, and get poisoned with homemade booze. The point is that most of teens feel thrill about breaking the law and buying alcohol. If they cannot buy alcohol in liquor stores, they can visit someone who produces booze at home. In most cases, such alcoholic drinks are poisonous. Besides, some researchers state that when the minimum legal drinking age is lowered, teens can be supervised while drinking in a bar or a restaurant. (procon.org)
On the contrary, there are several disadvantages of lowering the minimum legal drinking age to eighteen years. The human brain develops and grows until twenty five. Hence, the earlier a person starts drinking alcohol, the more brain is damaged. Moreover, scientists proved that the earlier a person starts to drink alcohol, the more chances he or she has to become addicted. (Hanes, 2012)
“Raising the drinking age back to 21 has decreased the percentage of fatal traffic accidents for those between 18 to 20 by 13 percent and has saved approximately 21,887 lives from 1975-2002.” (procon.org)
The minimum legal drinking age is twenty one
Nowadays, the minimum legal drinking age in the United States of America is twenty one. There are many reasons to remain the drinking age at this point and not lowering it. In some European countries, the drinking age is from sixteen to eighteen years. However, compared to the United States of America, people there get driver license later and drive less. It has been already mentioned above, that determining drinking age at twenty one, helped to save many lives because of the amount of car crashes had decreased. When the drinking age was set at twenty one, the researchers found out that the amount of car accidents decreased (Ives, 2008) besides, together with the increasing the minimum legal drinking age to twenty one helped to reduce the amount of drugs used. (Toumbourou & Varcoe, 2013) Another reason for determining the minimum drinking age at twenty one is that at that age most of twenty-one-year-olds are at a college or a university. This means that they are old enough to hold the responsibility for their actions and lives.
“One of the most positive effects of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, supporters contend, is that it has helped to reduce what they call the "drinking culture" previously prevalent among American youth.” (Hettich, 2012)
On the contrary, as every system, this system is not perfect. The point is that when the minimum legal drinking age is twenty one, most of the teenagers tend to fake documents and buy alcohol illegally. Such practice can harm their future. some parents and researchers suggest that lowering drinking age can reduce the amount of alcohol used by teens. (Ives, 2008) However, I cannot agree with that. When the minimum legal drinking age is lowered to eighteen, teenagers will continue drinking the same amount of alcoholic drinks. The only difference is that, in this case, it will be legal.
The scientists, doctors, parents and politicians cannot come to the same conclusion whether the minimum legal drinking age should be lowered or not. This essay was aimed at showing advantages and disadvantages of the minimum legal drinking age of eighteen and twenty one. Obviously, there are many disadvantages of lowering the minimum legal drinking age to eighteen because this age has more disadvantages compared to twenty one. The main disadvantage, in my opinion, is that the teenagers’ brain can be heavily damaged in case of drinking too much alcohol. On the other hand, regardless the fact that the minimum legal drinking age is twenty one, many teenagers under this age buy alcohol illegally. The system of prohibiting is not perfect. However, the studies proved that twenty one is the optimal age of allowing drinking and buying alcohol.
Hanes M (2012) Effects and consequences of underage drinking U.S. Department of Justice
Hettich K (2012) Minimum drinking age. Retrieved from https://msrosswatertown.wikispaces.com/file/view/Pros%20of%20drinking%20age.pdf/308664322/Pros%20of%20drinking%20age.pdf
Ives N. (2008) Minimum drinking age: does the evidence support lowering it from age 21? Issue Brief. Vol. 8 No. 3
n.a. (2010) Pros and cons of lowering the drinking age. Retrieved from http://www.procon.org/sourcefiles/013010poststar.pdf