Why the drinking age should not be lowered

Topics: Drinking culture, Alcoholic beverage, Alcoholism Pages: 5 (1551 words) Published: November 20, 2013

The legal drinking age is the age at which a person can consume or purchase alcoholic beverages. In 1934, the “Original ABC Act stated that the legal age for purchase, possession or consumption of any alcoholic beverage was 21 years of age” (History). The United States has the highest minimum age for alcohol consumption or purchase. Each state is responsible for setting their own minimum drinking age based on federalism. In 1984, the national minimum drinking age act was passed and it pushed states to set their minimum drinking age if they wanted to receive financial support from the government regarding roads and public transportation systems. The legal drinking age should remain at 21 due to the dangers of drinking and driving, body development with age and binge drinking.

There are countless facts and statistics on the dangers of drinking and driving and the effect it has had and is continuing to have on society. Drunk driving is blight on our civilization. “An average of 17,000 individuals die each year in drunk driving related deaths” (Injury Prevention). The fact that there are so many alcohol related deaths is beyond me. Someone’s life should not be taken due to the carelessness and irresponsibility of another human being If someone is going to consume more alcohol than the legal limit then they should not be anywhere near any working motorized vehicle. Not only for the safety of those around them, but also for the safety of the intoxicated person themselves. Drunk driving is an enormous public safety issue, which can cause more deaths around the world. “The highest drunk driving rates are from the ages 18 to 25” (Top). Considering the legal drinking age is set at 21, there should be no reason why there is alcohol related accidents caused by those under the age of 21. Alcohol can cause adolescents under the influence to drive more aggressively and thus more dangerous. Alcohol slows down their reaction time and causes them to be less likely to prevent an accident if presented with one. By leaving the legal drinking age at 21 it reduces the number of injuries and/or deaths that would be caused by drunk driving. Alcohol related accidents involving those under the age of 21 prove that those who are drinking under the legal age are irresponsible and incapable of using it safely.

The body is affected in many different ways, especially in its developing ages under 21. Underage drinking is strongly associated with many health and social problems among youth. Drinking too much alcohol can also cause death. “Excessive alcohol consumption contributes to more than 4,700 deaths among underage youth every year” (Injury Prevention). Teens do not have the maturity or experience to know when to stop drinking past their limit. Therefore, teens continue to drink disregarding health and how it may be negatively affecting their body. “Youth who start drinking before age 15 years are five times more likely to develop alcohol dependence or abuse later in life than those who begin drinking at or after age 21 years” (Injury Prevention). Young people’s brains are still developing in their teen years. Drinking alcohol affects the brain and can cause damage or alter the developing process for those who continuously misuse the substance. “Children who drink are more likely to become victims of rape, aggravated assault, and robbery. Drinking lowers inhibitions and increases the chances that children will engage in risky behavior or do something that they will regret when they are sober” (Early). Alcohol has an effect on the behaviors of teens immensely. “Each year, approximately 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape” (Early). Kids aren’t in the right mind to make decisions so they make stupid ones that they later regret. Rape is a serious one that is very common. Also many kids who are exposed to drinking at a young age and highly likely to try illicit drugs when they...

Cited: "Binge Drinking on College Campuses." CSPI: Alcohol Policy:. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2013. (primary source)
"Early Alcohol Initiation Linked to Teen Suicide." - Free Online Library. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2013. (website)
"History of the Legal Drinking Age." History of the Legal Drinking Age. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2013. (website)
"Injury Prevention & Control: Motor Vehicle Safety." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17 Apr. 2013. Web. 23 Apr. 2013. (book)
Jones, Brent, ed. Drinking Games Deadly to College Students. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2013. (website)
"Top 3 Reasons Why the Drinking Age Should Not Be Lowered to 18." PolicyMic. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2013. (website)
"United States Conference of Catholic Bishops." United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2013. (usccb website)
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