Legal Age to Drink - Should It Be Changed?

Topics: Drinking culture, Alcoholic beverage, Alcohol abuse Pages: 4 (1409 words) Published: November 19, 2012
Legal Age to Drink: Should it be Changed?
In this day and age with more sophisticated teens and young people abusing alcohol, the issue concerning whether or not teenagers should be able to drink at a younger age is an important topic. In the article “Perils of Prohibition” Elizabeth M. Whelan argues that alcohol should be legalized at the age of eighteen instead of twenty-one. She hopes to persuade readers, parents, and educators to support her proposal for the change by successful alcohol education. Although Whelan provides valuable examples to prove that proper alcohol education is an effective solution in reducing the problems faced with alcohol abuse among American teenagers, she does not provide enough substantial evidence to justify changing the legal drinking age to eighteen years old.

In the beginning paragraphs, Whelan compares alcohol consumption with American teens and their European peers. She says, “American teens, unlike their European peers, don’t learn how to drink gradually, cautiously, and in moderation” (2). This is a great example because it makes the readers think about the different cultural views of alcohol consumption among youthful drinkers globally. Though the consumption of alcohol in France, Spain, and Portugal is higher than the United States per person, the rate of alcoholism and alcohol abuse is lower (4). Whelan hopes to prove that if moderate alcohol consumption and proper awareness of the use of it is instilled in children eighteen years old and up then drinking alcohol should be okay. She compares three countries to the United States in her example. We live in a pretty big world, is it the same in other “drinking” countries? The example is fairly effective but comparing drinking habits in only three countries to the United States is not enough to persuade readers.

In order to gain support for successful alcohol education being a key factor in helping the problems faced with alcohol abuse, Whelan mentions an...
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