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Drinking Age

Essay by   •  October 11, 2010  •  Essay  •  574 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,371 Views

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The drinking age in the United States is a contradiction. At the age of eighteen, one can drive a car, vote in an election, get married, serve in the military and buy tobacco products. In the United States you are legally an adult at eighteen. An eighteen-year-old, however, cannot purchase alcoholic beverages. The minimum drinking age should be lowered from twenty-one in the United States.

Unbelievably, the United States citizens trust their sixteen-year-old children to drive three thousand pound vehicles. We require our working young to pay taxes. We trust the decision-making abilities of eighteen year olds in public elections, with the right to smoke, and with the choice of marriage without parental consent. Our young adults are encouraged to join the army and fight for their country. We however believe that until the age of twenty-one our young adults can not handle alcohol.

There is an ever-growing problem on campuses all across the nation with the abuse of alcohol. College freshman, usually nineteen, enter college with a bias involving the drinking law. In almost every aspect other than the drinking age, these freshmen are considered adults. However, they are told by the law they are not responsible enough to handle alcohol.

Elizabeth Whelan declares, "Banning drinking by young people makes it a badge of adulthood -- a tantalizing forbidden fruit". This badge of adulthood is quickly attained by college freshman, who lash out at the drinking age, with binge drinking. The abuse of alcohol by young people can likely be prevented, certainly not in all cases but in many.

In most European countries moderate drinking is common by teenagers. These teens have been taught about the dangers of alcohol and were brought up by parents who let their children experience alcohol moderately. Whelan observes, "Though the per capita consumption of alcohol in France, Spain and Portugal is higher than in the United States, the rate of alcoholism and alcohol abuse is lower ".

United States parents should take the hint from Europe and educate their children about alcohol. Parents should not just say alcohol is bad and evil. Parents should teach about the effects of alcohol, how to drink properly and when alcohol is appropriate. Parents have the chance to properly educate their young adults. These young adults will experience alcohol somewhere and will be given an education by someone. The

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