- Term Papers, Book Reports, Research Papers and College Essays

Lowering the Drinking Age

Essay by   •  September 12, 2010  •  Research Paper  •  2,600 Words (11 Pages)  •  2,482 Views

Essay Preview: Lowering the Drinking Age

Report this essay
Page 1 of 11

In the United States, it is illegal to consume alcohol until the age of twenty-one. At the age of 18 people are considered adults. "The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen-years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of age (Amendment 26, Section 1 of the Constitution). At the age of eighteen, a person can get married, vote, drive, take out loans, pay taxes, buy tobacco, have sex, be tried as an adult, have children, use credit cards, buy real estate, act independently of parents and be in the armed forces and die for their country.

If we look at Vietnam War, half of the soldiers that fought in that war were under the age of twenty-one, and a lot of them were 17 to 19 years old. Yet that person still can not drink alcohol. Also we can smoke when we are eighteen. Smoking kills just as many people if not more than drinking. Smoking causes cancer, and many more conditions compared to drinking that causes liver problems only after sever abuse of it. Smoking has many chemicals including carbon monoxide which is so poisonous that we have alarms in our house that detect it, but we can smoke and not drink. We can vote when we are eighteen. We vote for bills and bonds that change our lives. We can vote for the senators and the entire Congress that propose laws that govern our society. We vote for the President who is the commander of millions of troops whom he can send to their deaths in a minute's warning. It is imperative that the drinking age be lowered to the age of eighteen. The drinking age must be lowered to the age of eighteen because this age would be consistent with other responsibilities that the government ____ grants eighteen-year-olds. For instance, at the age of eighteen, a person is liable to be in the armed forces. If a person is being trusted to fight or even possibly die for their country, it seems a lot less crucial to trust them with an alcoholic beverage. To add to the fact of dying for their country, these people are being counted on to kill other humans. This seems unreasonable that a person is liable to take on an adult's job, that involves the future of the country, and still be unable to enjoy an activity that other adults are allowed to participate in. For instance, when a person reaches the age of eighteen he or she can leave their parents' home or be kicked out, and become their own legal guardian. They no longer are required to have their parents sign their name to any documents pertaining to them, and are now considered an adult except when it comes to the consumption of alcoholic beverages. When a person eighteen or older commits a crime they will be tried as an adult. Once a person turns eighteen, they no longer go to kindergarten prison (Juvenile Hall) when they are convicted of a crime, but instead they go to jail, state prison, federal prison, or death row depending on the severity. They are now held fully responsible for their own actions, and must accept the consequences. I think that we should change the law and make it so a person can't be tried as an adult until they turn twenty-one. Maybe between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one people aren't responsible for their actions, after all, they are still considered a minor at the bars (at least in America).

On one\'s 18th birthday the law no longer views him as a child yet he is restricted from many places of social activity. Bars and many dance clubs are strictly for those 21 and over due to the legal drinking age in America, so many legal adults are not permitted entry. Clearly a discrepancy exists between an 18 year old adult and a 21 year old adult; however, since they are viewed by law as equals shouldn\'t they have the same privileges (Daniel 140)? Obviously certain laws that regulate activities by age are necessary. Voting, alcohol, and driving should not be available to people of any age because of the amount of responsibility these activities require. However the segregation between younger and older adults is unwarranted. Up until 1984 the legal drinking age was 18, however Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) spurred a campaign to raise the age limit to 21. They succeeded with the passage of the National Minimum Purchase Age Act in 1984. The law aimed to lower the number of drunk driving accidents, which it has done, but only by a small margin. However, what it has also done is reduce the rights of citizens between the ages of 18 and 21. Americans hold personal freedom to be an undeniable right. The right to drink one\'s self into a drunken state still falls under the personal right category; however, this basic freedom is restricted by the implementation of the 1984 law. Instead of being able to have complete control over one\'s life when they reach the legal age of adulthood, citizens are forced to wait an additional three years for an equal level of freedom. A need for drinking regulation definitely exists, yet it needs to coincide with other laws defining adult privileges (Edwards et al. 138). All rights would be gained simultaneously and lowering the legal drinking age to 18 would erase the discrepancy that now exists. Furthermore the temptation to undermine the law through underage drinking would be greatly decreased. For many college students that fall in between years of legal adulthood and legal drinking age, the desire to drink is spurred by getting away with something they are not supposed to be doing. Alcohol becomes an "forbidden fruit". Drinking is more exciting when it is illegal (RALLY 1). According to \"Dan,\" an English exchange student, the typical college student would not feel the need to have a binge drinking party if he were allowed into the local bar. The need to throw private drinking parties would no longer be prevalent because the accessibility of alcohol would no longer be in question. Lowering the legal drinking age would also create a plethora of social events for those 18 and older. Currently many dance clubs are strictly for those 21 and over because the establishment serves alcohol. This leaves the remainder of the adults populous to find their own forms of entertainment, counter productive or otherwise. If these bored adults were allowed to participate in more activities there would be less people idling on the streets. Society as a whole would be better off because there would be less illegal activity taking place. This could entail underage drinking or more serious matters engaged by those with spare time and nowhere to go. If more young adults were drinking in public places as opposed to dorm rooms the possibility of excessive drinking would be lowered. The number of people present and the way in which bars and clubs are run provide the structured environment necessary to promote safer drinking. It is far less likely for someone to die of alcohol



Download as:   txt (14.3 Kb)   pdf (157.2 Kb)   docx (14.4 Kb)  
Continue for 10 more pages »
Only available on