Lowering The Drinking Age Essay, Research Paper
December 1, 1997
Lowering the Drinking Age to 18
Since the increase of the drinking age to 21 has taken effect in New York state, the argument for lowering that limit has been heated. The current age for the consumption of alcohol in the United States is 21 (”Consequences”). Just as it is stated in the following quote, age limits for minors are inconsistent. ” Why is it that 18 year old U.S. citizens can legally obtain a driver’s license, register to vote, be forced into jury duty or a draft, can be tried as an adult and even put to death, but cannot buy and consume alcoholic beverages?”(”Drinking”).
The following quote deals specifically with the problem of underage drinking. “88% of drinking drivers aged 16-20 who where involved in fatal crashes in 1993 were determined to have CAUSED the crash” (”Consequences”). Logically, if parents could teach young adults the responsibilities of alcohol at a younger age, then this frightening statistic would probably be cut in half. As Jeff Roberts* put it in his interview, ” I believe that one of the factors that drives young adults to drinking, if not the biggest reason, is that it is illegal. That is where the peer pressure and the glamour of it all comes in. Young adults see the older adults handling alcohol and say well I want to act older so I can do that too. It also makes the young adult feel dangerous and alive. They are getting away with something that is illegal.” It is conceivable that if a parent were given the chance to teach his or her child the responsibilities of drinking at a younger age, that child may grow up understanding and respecting the responsibilities of drinking (”Drinking”). Fasier* responded “I am a firm believer in the idea. It is logical, it is the way it should be taught , Laurent 2
and it is right there along with the Constitution and freedom of choice, which is what this nation was built on”. Alcohol-related crashes are the leading cause of teenage deaths (”Consequences”). If parents could allow their children to not abuse alcohol and to be responsible drivers, earlier in life they might be more responsible as life goes on.
According to Mrs. Frasier, “The worst that alcohol can do is hurt the kidney, when drunk in massive quantities and at a younger age, but, most of the studies I have read indicate that the age where this is a problem is up till 14 in boys and up to 12 in girls.”. In some cases, massive amounts of alcohol can cause a problem in almost all people . If these people had been taught at an earlier age, then possibly they might have more respect and responsibility for the ” substance that is meant to be consumed maturely.” (”Drinking”). ” When I was young, the drinking age was 18, but if they had the chance to teach me even earlier then I firmly believe that my bout with alcoholism would not even have happened. Now the age is 21 so I believe that they should at least bring the age back to 18 if not lower.” (Fasier*). The push for this decrease is not just isolated to the United States. It is occurring in other nations as well. Some nations have already begun to lower their age limits such as Canada and European nations (”Drinking”).
Recently there have been the deaths of two college students. One of the students was attending LSU and the other was going to MIT. In both cases, the students died of alcohol poisoning (”Drinking”).”In the case of the two college students it is already too late, let’s not lose any more.” (”Drinking”). It is more likely that if the two college students had been able to drink at a younger age, their parents might have been more able to teach them the responsibility of the substance that brought them to their demise. ” I believe that we should lower the drinking age in the United States to at least 18 if not lower than that” (Fasier). ” I believe that we should definitely lower the drinking age, and I am not just saying that because I already drink, but I am
saying that because I believe that it is right moral, and also part of our constitutional right.” (Roberts). These are at least two firm supporters for lowering the drinking age who voice the opinion of many people and there are countless reasons for doing so. If nothing else, the drinking age in the United States should be 18.
“Consequences of Under 21 Drinking”available; http://www.FCPI.org/under21info.html . 21
“Drinking Dissertion” available; http://www.genesio.edu/~tae99/dissertion.html . 21 November 1997.
Fasier, Kimberly. Personal interview. 21 November 1997.
Roberts, Jeff. Personal interview. 20 November 1997.
* The name Jeff Roberts is a pseudonym intended to keep the identity of the person being interviewed from the public for fear of incrimination, it is not intended to be used to falsify any information. The person in this case is a minor who drinks.
** The name Kimberly Fasier is a psuedonym intended to keep the identity of the person being interviewed from the public for fear of ridicule. The person in this case is currently a nurse who deals with people struggling with substance abuse daily. She also began drinking at an illegal age and has had a bout with alcoholism.