Alcohol In College Essay, Research Paper
compuserve (underage drinking statistics)
* A typical American college students spends more on beer than they do on textbooks
* Junior and senior high school students drink 35% of all wine coolers sold in the United States
and 1.1 billion cans of beer each year.
*More than million students drink when they are alone; more than 4 million drink when they are upset; and nearly 3 million drink when they are bored.
*A sixteen year old student is more likely to die from a drinking related problem than any other.
Summary of Information:
Underage drinking and the legal limit of when a person is able to drink is a contributing factor to the causes of death among teens these days. The social pressures of being a teenager are harder and harder each day. The law does state the you must be over the age of 21 before you may consume alcohol but there are people out there that do choose otherwise. Many different advocates are for lowering the legal drinking age. Well, the truth must be told. The society of this day and age is very demanding and responsible for many of he teenagers problems these days. For example, the pressures of being a teen consists of “fitting in” and “wanting to be cool”. Well, its not cool to be totally smashed and drive home drunk and run the risk of killing you and others on the road that night. This web page is desinged to inform you of the risks and to help prevent the use of alcohol among teenagers. There are many other things that can be done on a Friday or Saturday night. Try going bowling or to the movies. Underage drinking is a major problem in our nation these days and needs to be abolished.
Answering the Critics of Age-21
State Age-21 laws are one of the most effective public policies ever implemented in the Nation…I am chagrined to report that some supposedly responsible officials would like to repeal them.1
Jim Hall, Chairman
National Transportation Safety Board
Lowering the drinking age will reduce the allure of alcohol as a “forbidden fruit” for minors.
Lowering the drinking age will make alcohol more available to an even younger population, replacing “forbidden fruit” with “low-hanging fruit.”
The practices and behaviors of 18 year-olds are particularly influential on 15 – 17 year-olds.2 If 18 year-olds get the OK to drink, they will be modeling drinking for younger teens. Legal access to alcohol for 18 year-olds will provide more opportunities for younger teens to obtain it illegally from older peers.
Age-21 has resulted in decreases, not increases in youth drinking, an outcome inconsistent with an increased allure of alcohol. In 1983, one year before the National Minimum Purchase Age Act was passed, 88% of high school seniors reported any alcohol use in the past year and 41% reported binge drinking. By 1997, alcohol use by seniors had dropped to 75% and the percentage of binge drinkers had fallen to 31%.3
Lowering the drinking age will encourage young people to be responsible consumers. They’ll get an idea of their tolerance and learn to drink under supervision at bars (or on campus, if in college), rather than at uncontrolled private parties away from school.
No evidence exists to indicate that kids will learn to drink responsibly simply because they are able to consume alcohol legally at a younger age. Countries with lower drinking ages suffer from alcohol-related problems similar to those in the U.S.4
Responsible consumption comes with maturity, and maturity largely comes as certain protective mechanisms, such as marriage and first job, begin to take hold.
Supervision does not necessarily lead to responsibility. Many bars encourage irresponsible drinking by deeply discounting drinks and by heavily promoting specials, such as happy hours, two-for-ones, and bar crawls.
Raising the drinking age has apparently increased responsibility among young people. Compared to 1980 when less than 21 was the norm, fewer college students in 1995 reported drinking in the past month (68% vs. 82%) and binge drinking (39% vs. 44%). Also, more college students disapproved of binge drinking (66% vs. 57%).5
The 1978 National Study of Adolescent Drinking Behavior found that 10th – 12th graders in states with lower drinking ages drank significantly more, were drunk more often, and were less likely to abstain from alcohol.6 Additionally, national data show that high school seniors who could not legally drink until age 21 drank less before age 21 and between ages 21 – 25 than did students in states with lower drinking ages.7,8
At 18, kids can vote, join the military, sign contracts, and even smoke. Why shouldn’t they be able to drink?
Ages of initiation vary — One may vote at 18, drink at 21, rent a car at 25, and run for president at 35. These ages may appear arbitrary, but they take into account the requirements, risks, and benefits of each act.
When age-21 was challenged in Louisiana’s State Supreme Court, the Court upheld the law, ruling that “…statutes establishing the minimum drinking age at a higher level than the age of majority are not arbitrary because they substantially further the appropriate governmental purpose of improving highway safety, and thus are constitutional.”9
Age-21 laws help keep kids healthy by postponing the onset of alcohol use. Deferred drinking reduces the risks of:
? developing alcohol dependence or abuse later in life.10
? harming the developing brain.11
? engaging in current and adult drug use.12, 13
? suffering alcohol-related problems, such as trouble at work, with friends, family, and police.14
Minors still drink, so age-21 laws clearly don’t work.
Age-21 laws work. Young people drink less in response. The laws have saved an estimated 17,000 lives since states began implementing them in 1975, and they’ve decreased the number of alcohol-related youth fatalities among drivers by 63% since 1982.15, 16
Stricter enforcement of age-21 laws against commercial sellers would make those laws even more effective at reducing youth access to alcohol. The ease with which young people acquire alcohol — three-quarters of 8th graders say that it is “fairly easy” or “very easy” to get — indicates that more must be done.17 Current laws against sales to minors need stiff penalties to deter violations. Better education and prevention-oriented laws are needed to reduce the commercial pressures on kids to drink.
Lowering the Drinking Age in the Past Has Sacrificed
Public Health and Safety
? State motor vehicle fatality data from the 48 continental states found that lowering the drinking age for beer from 21 to 18 resulted in an 11% increase in fatalities among that age group.18
? In Arizona, lowering the drinking age increased the incidence of fatal accidents by more than 25% and traffic fatalities by more than 35%.19
? Lowering the drinking age in Massachusetts caused an increase in total fatal crashes, alcohol-related fatal crashes, and alcohol-related property damage crashes among 18 – 20 year-old drivers.20
? From 1979 – 1984, the suicide rate was 9.7% greater among young people who could legally drink alcohol than among their peers who could not.21
from 1988 to 1998 california reduced it’s accident fatalities for about 55% but still in 1998 it was 226
Nationally, alcohol-related traffic fatalities for youth under 21 per 100,000 population declined 60 percent from 1982 to 1998. Furthermore, among youth under 21, in all but two states and DC the rate of alcohol-related traffic fatalities per 100,000 population declined significantly from 1988 to 1998.
CALIFORNIA What is the law?
California law states that it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeds .08%. California observes a “per se *../topics/perse.htm*” law: BAC at or above .08% is per se illegal.