The clamor for lowering the drinking age from twenty one to eighteen has been an issue that has hounded the American society for years now. People from all walks of life – writers, authors, physicians and even law makers had expressed concerned of changing the existing law to something that they these professionals firmly believed would be more appropriate to the youth and young adults of the nation. According to them if 18 years old are sent overseas to fight wars for their country, why then they are not given the privilege to hold and drink beer (Lovett).
Furthermore they believed that implementation of the laws that imposed drinking age are not effective, thus it would be appropriate to lower the age bracket since laws are not properly implemented and many teenagers still have access to alcohols. As a result, debate of lowering drinking age to 18 has become widespread. The drinking age that is being imposed in the United States is relatively higher compared to the ban that is being practiced in different countries.
For most country, 18 years old are allowed to drink, and then followed by 16 and in countries like France, Germany, Spain Switzerland and Italy 13 is the legal age in drinking (Johnson). Some, like China don’t even have legal drinking age. If several countries around the globe are not strict with their laws concerning the drinking age, it is fitting then to know why our society maintain an older legal drinking age and eventually understand why we should and tolerate the lowering of drinking age. The drinking age is at 21 in order to protect the youth and teens.
Teens are impulsive and emotional. Most teens viewed drinking alcohol and beers as a relief from their problem. It is an escape from a harsh reality. Drinking among teens is common in college parties. On these parties it seems all sort of alcohols are present hard drinks, beers, and vodkas; name it the party have it which is usually conducted in a beach house or frat house attended by both sexes. With no adults around to warn and tell these teens what’s wrong, problems brought by drinking builds up. Teen’s immaturity is the main reason why drinking age should not be lowered.
However, we should not generalize all teenagers as others are capable of handling themselves even with the presence of alcohol. From these parties, many young women get pregnant as the alcohol slowly effect and blurred their reasoning. They failed to evaluate which is right from wrong and as a result they are unable to figure and think of the consequences of what their action might bring. Youths are aggressive and are curious to discover and try new things. In order to be a part of the “cool group” they could act and do silly things especially if subjected to dare.
By drinking teens believed that they are put into a different state of mind. They can say and do anything they believed they want and they will never be hold accountable and responsible for it. Another problem that we should consider in changing and lowering the drinking age is the driving accidents that are related to drunk drivers. Old people are stubborn enough not to admit that they are drunk and still prefer to take a drive home. By driving they are not only putting their lives at the risks but also endangering the lives of the public.
If age limit that banned the youths from drinking is lifted, we would only increase the number of alcohol-related accidents. However that would also depend on the attitude of the one involved. If proper guidance is shown to the youth then there would be little problem concerning drunk driving. Also, by allowing underage to drink beers in controlled places like bars and restaurants, they can learn how to be responsible and handle themselves. They can also observed proper behavior practiced by adults.
A study conducted by the National Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism showed that teenagers who started drinking at a young age are more likely to become alcohol dependents compared to those who have started drinking at the age of 21 (Hanson). Teens who have tasted the luxury of beers and alcohols are most likely to become alcoholics at their old age. Thus if drinking age would be lowered, the youth are exposed to become vulnerable and the trouble that alcohols brings. Statistics showed that four out of the five instances of teenagers who are exposed to alcohols during their young had become alcoholic.
However, by starting them young, teenagers can also learn at the very young age the problems that are accumulated by drinking. Thus, they can learn to be mature at at quicker rate. By exposing them to drinking at a young age, we are also educating them to be mature and responsible with their actions. Although the age of drinking has been criticized and there are calls for changing it to 18, it is important not to rush in deciding since it is the future of the American youth that is at stake.
It is true that at 18, youth are allowed to vote and participate in elections, send to Iraq, Afghanistan or any country that needs their service. If they have become part of such important humanitarian mission or a process that plays major role in the future of the country, then why can they be allowed to drink? The answer is simple, teenagers should be allowed to drink or the age of drinking should not be changed because teenagers are able to and can show that they are capable of dealing with consequences drinking brings.
With proper guidance and programs that would educate them of alcoholisms, it’s effects such as accidents and violence related to drinking, they can prove that they are mature enough to be allowed to drink. Though some of their actions today had revealed that they are not responsible enough, we should not judge today’s youth and instead inspire them. In addition no more laws would be broken with regards to underage drinking each day.