Today 18 year olds are considered an “adult” and often viewed to start venturing out in the world to start having “adult responsibilities”, all while Joining the workforce to play their role in society. If you are old enough to be a productive member of society, vote, and Join the military, then you should have the right to consume alcohol at the age of 18. The US has it so heavily regulated that younger people feel the need to rebel and use alcohol.
Society tends to think poorly of anyone under 21 years of age when it comes o drinking, they show kids in movies drinking and acting wild as if they cannot handle their alcohol consumption. However when you think about it there really is no difference than an 18 year old starting their venture in the world of drinking compared too 21 year old who Just started drinking. Their alcohol tolerance would be the same, only difference is their age.
In 1933 all states put into action a minimal legal drinking age (MILD) of 21 years of age which stayed true to this until sass after the Vietnam Draft and the changes made to be 18 years of age due to being able to vote. However after many years of research and what they assumed was a bad idea of 18 years being the legal drinking age, the MILD changed throughout the United States back to 21 years of age by 1986 per bully tactic.
For example, the government stated that if “all states were not changed back to 21 years of age by 1986, then all states that have yet to do it would face loss of federal highway funds”. (Toomey, Nelson, & Lend, 2009). I strongly support changing the legal drinking age to 18 years old for many reasons. One reason is, many people choose to drink underage for the “thrill” of things. The thought of doing something that isn’t allowed, for some reason, makes others feel the urge to do it more.
I asked multiple people in interviews when they started drinking, and every one of them talked about drinking underage because they felt “cool”, however one thing that stood out to me was when they turned 21 years of age, they all noted how they didn’t go out and drink as much, that there wasn’t a “thrill” to it all, and how when they were underage drinking, if they got hurt they wouldn’t report or get help in fear of going to Jail or their parents finding out they were illegally drinking. Another reason that supports lowering the drinking age would be looking at the countries that have already lowered the minimum drinking legal age to 18.
One study showed that there are fewer drunk driving and fatalities when lowering the age to 18 as noted by (Proton, 2014). It seems one of the biggest problems of young adults is favoritism to other young adults due to the difference in age and abilities. Whether it is due to starting school later than their peers, or possibly getting held back it isn’t rare to see social group with a relatively large age grouping. This type of situation can put a young adult who an drink into a social group with other young adults who cannot legally.
This works to create favoritism due to the ability to provide alcohol for their peers if they so choose. But in lowering the legal drinking age, this would extend the privilege to the younger more dependent peers. In retrospect it would deprive the older peers of the group of this distinction given to them due to the lack of dependency. (Brownfield, Fernando and Halberds) When it comes to debates, there is always another side to the issue at hand, the opposing team. One opposing team is “MAD” or better known as “Mothers against Drunk Drivers”.
They stated “It does not make sense to increase access to alcohol when there are already so many problems with underage drinking. ” (Abuse) But that’s the thing, there wouldn’t be such an issue if we could lower the drinking age, we would be able to get 18 year olds and older in a more controlled and safer environment and control the need for them trying to go out and party with people who are more than likely strangers, getting fake ids and risk getting hurt or doing even worse of things. One thing I really agreed with when lowering the drinking age loud be to a license to drink for anyone that is 18 years of age.
An example of said license would be like a learner’s permit offered by the state of Kentucky. In order to be eligible for this permit must be at least 16 years of age, signed parental release form, and a signed and sealed school compliance verification form (DMS). This form states requirements that a student has less than 9 unexcused absences and has passed 4 out of 6 courses from the year prior. This ensures that students remain responsible for their day to day activities or risk revocation of this permit (Cabinet).
Now to obtain this type license (drinking license) you would have to take a class with a certain amount of hours that studies the effects of alcohol physically, mentally, emotionally, socially etc. Once taking this class you would take a test and once passed you get a license to legally purchase and consume alcohol starting at age 18. (License to drink could save lives. ) By doing this the accountability of the younger drinker would increase greatly. In order to keep the privilege to drink at an early age they must keep up with school, maintain safe driving behaviors, and all around be more responsible.
I believe that anyone who would graduate from such a course would also learn safer drinking habits. Becoming less likely to binge drink as they would learn how it will affect the day to day, and not Just the weekend. I think when all is said and done, despite the negative aspects that could be when lowering the minimal legal drinking age; I believe that lowering it to 18 is a good way to go. Every issue we face in life has a negative and positive side, but we have to really look into both spectrums to see which would be more beneficial. I truly believe lowering the drinking age would be more positive than negative.
Decreasing the possibilities of unreported injuries, keeping our young adults in more controlled environments, letting them become actual adults that we already perceive them to be with voting, college, and decision making. I am hoping to see more people be okay with lowering the drinking age especially if we can get a “license to drink” class started. I feel this class would help bring more light into the eyes of young adults when getting ready to take that first drink of alcohol. Works Cited Abuse, Teen Drug. The Drinking Age Should Not Be Lowered. 2011.. Brownfield, Kylie,