, Research Paper
Issues on lowering the drinking age
When one turns eighteen in the U.S, they can drive cars, fly planes, marry, vote, pay taxes, take out loans and risk their life as a member of the U.S. Armed forces, but it is illegal for them to drink. Why do young adults have the liberty to do everything else besides drink at the age of eighteen? Turning eighteen comes with adult responsibilities as well as privileges. The drinking age should be lowered to eighteen.
It is necessary to educate teens about drinking alcohol if the drinking age is lowered to eighteen. Educating teens of the consequences on abusing alcohol will give them full responsibility for their actions. The responsibility that comes with drinking should be strongly enforced. When ones turns sixteen in the U.S. There is a process in obtaining a driver?s license. But when turning twenty-one there is no process in obtaining the privilege to drink. If a license is not handed over to an uneducated driver then why should the privilege to drink be handed over to a twenty-one year old with no knowledge of alcohol? Therefore, education wills add in building responsible drinkers.
Young adults are not informed of the dangers involved with alcohol. Teens do not know the potency of what they are drinking. There are several facts that should be known before drinking. For example, they should know that there is certain alcohol compared to wine, that when drunk with ice will lower the alcohol level. Also, drinking on an empty stomach is not good and should not be done. If the facts about abusing alcohol were clearly known, then the consumption of it may be monitored. Drinking Habits etc. reports that 80% of teenagers do not know that twelve ounces of beer has the same potency as one shot of whisky (Whelan 1995). Also it is likely for them t become addicted alcoholics not knowing that previous generations in their families had drinking addictions. Ignorance will no longer be an excuse for abusing alcohol.
Responsible drinking is the goal. Alcohol is accepted and enjoyed by many people. What has a person gained at the age of twenty-one that makes them a more responsible drinker? What is the biological difference between eighteen and twenty-one? There is no deference in responsibility between two people taking their first drink, other then that one is eighteen and the other is twenty-one.
As reported in Youth and Alcohol: A National Survey, two-thirds of teenagers who drink buys their own liquor regardless of the law. Despite laws prohibiting the sale or provision of alcohol to people under the age of 21, minors throughout the U.S. can easily obtain alcohol (Foster 1994). We should strongly enforce the laws harder on alcohol abuse and most of all drunk driving of all ages. A review of enforcement action in 295 counties in 4 states (Kentucky, Michigan, Montana and Oregon) show that in a 3-year period, 27 percent of the counties took action against licensed establishments for selling alcohol to minors. For every 1,000 minors arrested for the possession of alcohol, only 130 establishments that sell alcohol to minors have actions taken against them (Wager and Wolfson). These laws are unnecessary.
Eighteen-year-old are punished as adults so why not treat them accordingly, and make them responsible for their actions? There is no logical reason why drinking is permitted at twenty-one rather at eighteen. Education has proved in the past to be the solution to many social issues, I believe drinking can also be one of them.
Drinking should not be illegal for eighteen-year-olds. Young adults should not be restricted due to a small group of drinking offenders. It is necessary to educate teens about drinking alcohol if the drinking age is changed to eighteen. Today?s laws are unrealistic. Why did the U.S. Armed Forces choose eighteen instead of 25 to 35? Why should one be categorized as a ?real? adult when one becomes 21?