In 1984, Congress passed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, which required states to raise their ages for purchase and public possession to 21 or lose 10% of their federal highway funds. Ever since then, strict laws are enforced any individual under twenty-one from having access to these toxins. Underage Americans who break these laws can get face serious consequences, with harsh penalties such as jail time and potential driver’s license suspension. Despite these punishments, many American teenagers still successfully get a hold of these substances. This raises an important question: should the legal drinking age be lowered, or should it remain the same? “Why the drinking age should be lowered: An opinion based upon research” by Ruth C.
Engs, a professor at the Indiana University, expresses her opinion about lowering the drinking age to eighteen by providing reasoning through ethos and logos. Engs’s demonstrates an appeal to ethos throughout her article with her personal use of credentials. She mentions her profession in Applied Health Sciences at Indiana University. She uses her career to show her professionalism which proves she is a trustworthy individual. This is an attempt to gain trust of audience as she holds a respectful and prestigious career. As a professor of Allied Health Sciences, her credentials give her an advantage to state opinions and facts on the drinking age issue with less likelihood of people asking questions. Additionally, Eng’s appeal to logos is clearly shown throughout the article as well by comparing underage drinkers in America to those in other countries in Europe and Asia. In most European and Asian countries, the legal drinking age is eighteen or under.
Engs states how the countries in these various continents do not view alcohol as a “drug” in the way the United States does. Engs explains how the teens in these countries are not faced with the same peer pressure to underage drink as the teens in America are. The teens in European and Asian countries are taught at a young age to respect themselves and to never abuse alcohol.
. Eng states, “Because the 21 year old drinking age law is not working, and is counterproductive, it behooves us as a nation to change our current prohibition law and to teach responsible drinking techniques for those who chose to consume alcoholic beverages. (3)” Engs chooses to target the audience by tapping into their own emotions and standings on the legal drinking age. Similarly, Engs’ develops her appeal to logos in her article by presenting the audience with statistics on underage drinking that strongly supports her claim.
She demonstrates the flaws of the current drinking laws as easily seen throughout university students. Engs states, “Those under the age of 21 are more likely to be heavy — sometimes called “binge” — drinkers (consuming over 5 drinks at least once a week). For example, 22% of all students under 21 compared to 18% over 21 years of age are heavy drinkers. Among drinkers only, 32% of under age compared to 24% of legal age are heavy drinkers. (5)” With the author stating statistics, it helps her cause much further, allowing her to attempt to persuade her audience more easily.
In conclusion, Ruth C. Engs discusses this issue with further research she has done and makes the claims in her article with appeals to ethos and logos. The United States’ drinking laws are clearly flawed and this is seen throughout our high school and university students. The question Americans must people must ask themselves is should the drinking age be lowered to 18?