Drinking Age Debate

In: Social Issues

Submitted By Irisbc
Words 972
Pages 4
| How Old is Old Enough? | Drinking Age | | | 11/11/2011 |

How old is old enough to have an alcoholic beverage? |

How Old is Old Enough? The legal drinking age is a topic that has come up for, and will continue to come up for, many years. The main question that needs to be answered is what is it that determines when a person is able to drink. Should we continue to base the drinking level on age or should we look at other characteristics. Those enrolled in the military have special benefits when it comes to drinking. In the year of 2011, the legal drinking age in the United States for all non-military people is 21 years of age. There is research for both sides of the spectrum. Some believe that the age should be lowered from 21, while others believe 21 is the perfect age. Then there are the people who say that the drinking age should be taken even higher than 21. Some want the drinking age to be as high as 25. Will lowering the drinking age stop teens from binge drinking? If we take the drinking age higher, will it simply cause rebellion in the teen world?
Many feel as though the law of 21 before drinking saves 1,000 deaths per year. The numbers of teens killed in alcohol related accidents have dropped somewhere from 11-16 percent since the 21 law have been implemented. Taking on higher drinking ages allows for a low intoxication level. For instance, in Georgia, where 21 is the legal drinking age, the blood alcohol level to be considered intoxicated is sitting at 0.08 percent. In places such as New Hampshire, where Arizona is the legal drinking age, blood alcohol content level is listed as high as 0.15 (Carter). These levels start to become dangerous when one realizes that one drink can cause a person’s blood alcohol content to be 0.02. If teen blows even 0.01 into a breathalyzer, it is a crime of underage drinking. The punishment of underage…...

Similar Documents

Drinking Age

...Each year, approximately 5,000 young people under the age of twenty-one die as a result of underage drinking; this includes approximately 1,900 deaths from motor vehicle crashes, 1,600 as a result of homicides, 300 from suicide, and as well as hundreds from other injuries (NIAA). In today’s society we are presented with a real epidemic, underage drinking. As children grow older they are brought into different environments where they are presented with different obligations. Children bring alcohol into their lives to be cool or to fit in, but dying of alcohol poisoning leaves young people to fit into which group? Teenagers begin drinking as early as middle school or even sooner. (NLM) It is said that teens who drink are more likely to be victims of violent crimes. They are more likely to have serious problems in school. They are more likely to be involved in drinking and driving accidents. Children who start drinking young are also more likely to develop problems with alcohol later in life. With such a huge epidemic in underage drinking, why would law makers want to lower the legal age? Throughout the United States, most seventeen year olds receive their drivers’ license. Seventeen year olds are still in high school and still testing different waters; some of the “water” is alcohol. It is hard to believe, but 70 percent of all teenagers drink alcohol, and 60 percent of all teen deaths in car accidents are alcohol-related (Eagle). Most parents want to believe that when they...

Words: 2193 - Pages: 9

Drinking Age

...November 2010 Lowering the Legal Drinking Age Is Not the Solution “In 2005, about 10.8 million persons aged 12 to 20 (28.2 percent of this age group) reported drinking alcohol in the past month. Nearly 7.2 million (18.8 percent) were binge drinkers, and 2.3 million (6.0 percent) were heavy drinkers,” according to the agency, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, in the Department of Health and Human Services. To solve this problem, would be to try to avoid it from happening, and that is, keeping the legal drinking age at twenty-one years old. The minimum drinking age has been an argument as to lowering the drinking age to 18. Candidate Rep. Dennis Kucinich, from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, argues, “Of course, they should be able to drink at age 18, and they should be able to vote at age 16.” Then there are groups that have been formed such as, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, who are strongly against lowering the drinking age to 18 and fully support 21 to be the legal drinking age. Lowering the drinking age to 18 resulted in more car accidents, deaths, and harmful effects to the body at such a younger age. Having the legal drinking age at 21 is for everyone’s own safety and health, also less under age kids will and have the ability to drink. In the 1970’s the drinking age was 18 years old because it was thought if you could fight in the Vietnam War you should be able to drink. However, having the legal drinking age at 18 lead to an......

Words: 1713 - Pages: 7

Drinking Age

...Should The Drinking Age Be Lowered To 18? Every teenager anticipates the day that they will finally be eighteen years old. This is the day they are finally seen as being an adult in the eyes of our government. Eighteen year olds are now free to make their own life choices and be held accountable for them. At the age of eighteen, you are free to put your life on the line and fight for your country, if you commit a crime you can be tried as an adult in court, and you are also give the right to vote in your country. So, why should the drinking age be twenty-one years old when you are considered an adult at the age of eighteen? At the age of eighteen you are not mature and responsible enough to purchase and consume alcohol. Alcohol has been around for centuries, showcased at parties, bars, sports events and just about everywhere. For these very reasons every day in our country the drinking age is being ignored and violated by young adults, teenagers, and even children all under the age of twenty-one. “On average ninety-five percent of those who will be alcohol consumers in their lifetime take their first drink before the age twenty one. Fifty percent of eighteen to twenty year olds consume alcohol on a regular basis” (McCardell 1). Based on these statistics we can conclude that the enforcement of the legal drinking age has fallen short. The most commonly known place where alcohol is consumed very heavily is on our college campuses. Many college students participate in......

Words: 1636 - Pages: 7

Drinking Age

...Drinking Age Excessive alcohol consumption is one of the major leading causes of death in the United States. Most people feel that if at 18 years old you can buy cigarettes, go to the army, get into debt, buy a car, and get married, 18 year olds should be able to drink. On the contrary, drinking causes the human brain to react slower and it impairs the brain causing it to be unable to function at its fullest especially behind the wheel, which is a major cause of death in accidents where a drunk driver is involved. Therefore, the drinking age should be left where it is, which is at the age of 21. If the drinking age would be lowered to 18, teenagers would easily get a hold of alcohol, and at this age they are more probable to binge drink than to drink responsibly. Not to mention that most of 18 year olds are new and inexperienced drivers; this leads to inexperienced teenagers behind the wheel while being under the influence. Unfortunately, there have been many cases like this where a drunk driver has caused a death in a car accident. Imagine how the family of the victim feels and nonetheless how the drunk driver feels afterward, knowing they took someone else’s life because of their stupid mistake. Not only can drinking cause deaths, but it can also cause rape and unwanted pregnancy. Due to the fact that drinking causes temporary brain impairment and the inability to remember previous events, teens are more vulnerable to take unwise decisions that otherwise in their full...

Words: 359 - Pages: 2

Drinking Age Bus/275

...18 or 21? BCOM/275 6/20/2013 Michelle Batson The great debate of the use of alcohol has challenged the nation for many years. The age limit that has been put into place in many states to legally drink is 21. Yet some still believe that 18 should be the legal age for the consumption of this drug called alcohol. Some argue that if a person can join the military, vote and be held responsible for themselves at the age of 18 that they should also have the right to drink alcohol. Others claim that fatalities from underage drinking are just too high and at the age of 18 a person is still not responsible enough to drink. In 1984 a bill was brought before government to raise the age to 21 or states would lose highway funding and in 1987 the government complied and signed a bill that forced most states to raise the legal age to 21, if they did not comply the state would lose ten percent of their highway funding. Some saw this as unfair and put laws into place where it was still legal for underage drinking with certain conditions attached, such as being supervised within your parents’ home. This bill has claimed to of saved 17,000 lives since 1988. The debate on the drinking age has raised many concerns for both sides and still continues to be a subject that brings controversy to any conversation. The pros of lowering the drinking age to 18 can be a very valid argument. At the age of 18 a young person is considered an adult and most believe that if you have the rights to join the...

Words: 1779 - Pages: 8

Drinking Age

...you’re intriguing article, I was embraced to express my opinion on the drinking age. Drinking has taken affect on most of my high school friends. Recently, one of my close friends was hospitalized from drinking too much. He is eighteen years old, and can never drink again. When he was sent to the hospital his alcohol level was through the roof, the doctors said he should have died right there. However, he is still alive; they told him that he can never drink alcohol again. This is why I believe the drinking age should be lowered to eighteen. I personally believe that if you are able to risk your life, and die in war for this country at age eighteen, you should be allowed to drink. America, considers you an adult when you turn eighteen and if you’re legally an adult you should be able to make your own decisions and the consequences that go with them. 42 percent of eighteen years old drink regularly, versus the 24 percent of people who are over the legal drinking age, who drink on a regular basis. If the drinking age was decreased to eighteen it would make less taboo for adults because it would take the fun out of breaking the law. Because, most teenagers drink so much, because of the thrill they get from it. One of the biggest problems with the drinking age is all of the college drinkers. In a recent study done in 2010, 44% of males will drink at least five beers in a row. Also, over the past ten years drinking percentages in colleges have almost gone unchanged. When......

Words: 381 - Pages: 2

Drinking Age

...Lowering the Drinking Age To 18 By Daniel Harl When a person turns 18 they are given many responsibilities and rights. They are able to vote, enter into contracts, serve in the military, and buy cigarettes and porn to their hearts content. But the one thing they are not allowed to do is buy alcohol. I believe that the drinking age should be lowered to 18. Most people that agree with me will say that it should be lowered because of all that I just stated. I on the other hand believe that the drinking age should be lowered for a different reason. I believe that the legal drinking age should be lowered from 21 to 18 because it was set at 21 to save lives, but it has not done that, in fact it has done the opposite and actually endangered more lives. After researching it a bit I found out some interesting facts. I found out that the legal drinking age in all 50 states and the District of Colombia is 21, but under certain circumstances drinking under 21 is legal in some states. In 29 states underage drinking is legal if it is on private, non alcohol-selling premises, with parental consent. In 7 states it is legal if it is on private, non alcohol-selling premises, without parental consent. 30 states allow it if it for religious purposes. 21 states allow it if it is for medical purposes. In 4 states it is legal if it is for government work related purposes. If it is for educational purposes it is legal in 13 states. In 3 states it is legal if reporting medical need due to underage...

Words: 1529 - Pages: 7

The Minimum Legal Drinking Age Debate

...Essay 2 Rough Draft Writing 123 Enthymeme: The minimum legal drinking age in the United States should not be lowered from 21 to 18 because the legal drinking age is in place to protect young people at a time when irresponsible behavior is prevalent. The Minimum Legal Drinking Age Debate Since 2008, 136 college chancellors and presidents have signed the Amethyst Initiative, asking that the United States reconsider the minimum legal drinking age-21 (MLDA-21) laws that have been in place in all 50 states since 1984. The Amethyst Initiative argues that the MLDA-21 laws simply do not work, create a culture of binge-drinking, and that a policy of legalization and education would be more effective in protecting the safety of American adolescents. Elisabeth Muhlenfeld, the president of Sweet Briar College in Virginia and Amethyst Initiative signatory writes that 70 percent of the student population is underage. Teaching abstinence to students that blatantly ignore the MLDA-21 laws, or urging responsible behavior while drinking underage and breaking the law, are both hypocritical positions for the college administration to be in (Muhlenfeld 2). The Amethyst Initiative position is that current MLDA-21 laws have created a culture of heavy alcohol use by making drinking clandestine and extreme (Saylor 1). The statistics seem to back up this claim. Recent survey's of the 18-20 year old population by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services show that a full 72 percent......

Words: 2399 - Pages: 10

Drinking Age

...3/24/2013 Argumentative research paper Why Not Change the Drinking Age Back to 18? In the United States of America you are considered a legal adult at the age of 18 years old. You have all the major rights of a fully grown adult, voting, enlisting in the military, buying a house, buying tobacco products and many more. However there is one right that was taken away from the 18 year old adult back in 1984. In 1984 the National Minimum Drinking Age Act was put into place which changed the legal minimum drinking age from 18 years old to 21. Does this law mean that you are not really a mature adult until you are 21 or should the drinking age be brought back down to 18 when you receive all the other rights of a mature adult. It makes perfect sense that this right should be returned to young adults for plenty of reasons and also holds potential solutions to one of the nation’s biggest alcohol related problems. What does it mean to be an adult? United States law states that you are legally considered an adult at the age of 18. It makes sense right? You can buy a house, enlist in the U.S. military, get married and loads of other rights you don’t have until the age of 18. But United States law also states that all states must enforce a legal minimum drinking age of 21. We are the only major nation to have such a high drinking age. The drinking age wasn’t always this high though. On July 17th 1984 the national minimum drinking age act was passed which meant that 18 year old young......

Words: 2220 - Pages: 9

Drinking Age

...Drinking Age Here in America alcohol is used for many different reasons. Some drink alcohol leisurely at a barbeque or party. Some drink it to get drunk and alleviate stress, some people even become so addicted they are physically dependent on consuming alcohol. Regardless of the reasons you drink it, legally you must be 21 years of age. This leaves a lot of room for heated debate. 21 is the magic age for youth, it allows you to now go out to night clubs, gamble, and of course buy and legally consume alcohol to name a few things. In regards to alcohol, many feel as if the age should be 18. As the man in the video was arguing, if you’re able to serve your country why can you have a beer? That is the argument many people will have. I do not agree that the legal age should be 18 in general, but I do feel that military men and women who lay their lives on the line should be given the option to do so. That would be the only case I feel as if it should be allowed, otherwise it would be chaos in my opinion. As stated in the video, states have tried to lower the drinking age before. The result was failure, there were much more drunk driving cases and accidents from people under 21. Now days alcohol is readily available no matter where you are at or what age you are. When I was in High School getting alcohol never seemed to be an issue for a lot of the kids I went to school with. Whether it was parents...

Words: 1171 - Pages: 5

Drinking Age

...com, keeping legal drinking age at twenty one save 900 lives yearly. the drinking age should not be lowered to eighteen for many reasons. At eighteen, teenagers are not mentally mature. Unlike adults, teenagers drink just to fit in or just for the fun of it. Drinking at a young age is not healthy for teenagers at such a young age, because by the time they’re are twenty one they’re already alcoholics. When thinking about lowering the drinking age, you have to put the poor choices that would be made by an intoxicated teen in perspective. Such as, dropping out of school, laziness, violent behavior, and drunk driving. To no surprise, too much alcohol can slow down a person’s ability to think, react, and make decisions at the current moment. One important and deadly impact drinking can have on teenagers drinking at an early age is drunk driving. On average, two in three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime. According to huffingtonpost.com, every day in America another twenty eight people die as a result of drunk driving. If the drinking age is lowered to eighteen it would do nothing to decrease those numbers, it will only increase the death rate. In conclusion, we can clearly see that underage drinking is not a good thing, and should be avoided for the sake of lives. As i stated previously, lowering the drinking age to eighteen can cause poor decisions making; which can lead to death, drunk driving, and addiction. The drinking age being lowered......

Words: 304 - Pages: 2

Drinking Age

...Theses: the drinking age should be lowered because it would both benefit the economy this would bring in an a lot of money in the economy. The government if they think that this is a bad thing they could increase taxes on alcoholic beverages to bring in more money. Who are we lie to we know that teens drink and most get away with it. We can’t fully enforce it so why not bring in out so that they don’t have to hide it. This would help the local business to gain more business form a one of the largest spenders in the nation which are teens. The issue of lowering the drinking age or even eliminating has always been there it has gone back and fourth for centuries. The two biggest issues are that should we lower it or should we raise it. There are both pros and cons to how we can look at it. From my point of view as an economist I think that we should lower. First point on why we should lower it that if we at age 18 are old enough to go to war and risk our life’s for this great country that they should allow us to drink. I know that this is has nothing to do with economics but this is a big reason and should not be left out. The next reason is that if we lower the drinking age the will bring a new market out. This market is that if teens drinking. The market right now that is out there for teen spending is huge and every one is trying to get into it. See in order for most business to survive they need to expend past their targeted customer in this they can compete and......

Words: 827 - Pages: 4

Drinking Age Debate

...major focal point in the opinions and debates in society. Questions, comments and concerns revolving around how and what the system should do about the limits teenagers have only added to the stereotypical yet evidently true battle between the youth and the more matured adults. In one case, teens have suffered losses as big as having to complete school or acquire a GED to reach a certain level of employment. While in other cases, the fight for earning one’s driving license at the age of sixteen appealed to the favor of teens. Currently, the dispute that is now being presented touches a subject that if ever addressed by the government, would change the way America operates forever: the age of consent for drinking. The debate is simple- the teens want it lowered against the adults who would like it to stay the same. The issue stirs major controversy mainly to focus on the safety of young adults, and how the consumption of alcohol can affect the mortality rate in their age bracket. However, there are firm rebuttals that show that lowering the legal drinking age to eighteen can not only benefit society, is the only fair addition to the list of rights and privileges one assumes when they reach America’s definition of adulthood. The pros and cons of the issue both have their strong and weak points aimed towards convincing their respective counter retorts. Yet when push comes to shove, it’s hard to deny that the law surrounding the drinking age in its standing, is not only unfair to...

Words: 1772 - Pages: 8

Drinking Age

...Lowering the American Drinking Age April 18, 2011 Table of Contents I. Introduction- Speculation on the drinking age II. Maturity Level III. Cons against lowering the drinking age a. Students and Drinking b. Party Habits IV. Pros for lowering the drinking age c. Binge Drinking d. The Limit V. Risk VI. The American View e. Legal Responsibilities f. Government Statistics g. Capital VII. Conclusion \Abstract/Executive Summary The drinking age should be lowered and Americans should take charge and know their limit. When it comes to the subject of lowering the drinking age, many speculations have been made, both positive and negative. Ohio legislature should take into account both view points. A positive being a drastic reduction in binge drinking among the American population. A negative is the fear of higher death rates due to alcohol poisoning. Lowering the American Drinking Age The drinking age in America has been under speculation for many years now and even though the law is set for 21, there are still minors abusing their availability to the stimulant. One can argue that the law shouldn’t be 21 and should be reduced for many reasons. On the contrary others believe that it just might be the right age if not too low already. Many people disagree with lowering it because of the lack of maturity in young adults, the number of increasing injuries, deaths related to drinking alcohol,......

Words: 1314 - Pages: 6

Drinking Age

...Increasing or decreasing the legal age at which people can purchase and drink alcohol has been a controversial issue for quite some time now. Some people say that it should be lowered because teens drink anyway, some say that it should increase or the stay the same due to health risk. There are many other viewpoints to both sides and in this paper we are going to explore both sides to the story Some believe that the legal drinking age should be lowered and we are going to explore why. They say if a person can go to war, shouldn’t he or she be able to have a beer? They American society has determined that upon turning 18 teenagers become adults. This means that they can enlist into the military to serve, fight, and potentially die for their country. Most importantly at age 18 you become legally responsible for your own actions. You can buy cigarettes even though in time you know that they can give you lung cancer. You may even purchase property, sign contracts, take out a loan, vote, hold office, serve on a jury, or adopt a child. But strangely at 18, one cannot buy a beer. In most other countries, the age of majority coincides with the legal drinking or purchasing age. Lots of people drink before they turn 21, despite the current legal drinking age. Doesn’t that prove that the policy is ineffective? The trend over the past decade is that fewer 12-20 year olds are drinking, but those who choose to drink are drinking more. Between 1993 and 2001, the rate of 20 year old who...

Words: 680 - Pages: 3