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Why the Legal Drinking Age Should Be Lowered to Eighteen in the United States

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Why The Legal Drinking Age Should Be Lowered To Eighteen

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.

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 decrepency exists beween an 18 year old adult and a 21 year old adult;

however, since they are veiwed by the law as equals shouldn't they have the same

privileges (Danieal 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. All rights would be gained simultaneously and lowering the

legal drinking age to 18 would erase the discrepancy that now exists. Furthermore the




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