Filed under Opinion/Editorial

Should the Drinking Age be Lowered?

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In America, the minimum age you need to be to drink alcohol is currently twenty-one. However, many people believe it should be lowered to eighteen, since that is the age you legally become an adult at. I agree that the drinking age should be lowered to eighteen.

At the age of eighteen, people are given the choice to risk their lives. On procon.org it says, “Turning 18 entails receiving the rights and responsibilities of adulthood to vote, smoke cigarettes (in most states), serve on juries, get married, sign contracts, be prosecuted as adults, and join the military – which includes risking one’s life.” If used correctly, alcohol isn’t nearly as dangerous as smoking or joining the military. If eighteen year olds are allowed to make more dangerous decisions then they should be allowed to drink.

People may drink alcohol just because they were told they weren’t allowed to. According to indiana.edu, “Although the legal purchase age is 21 years of age, a majority of college students under this age consume alcohol but in an irresponsible manner. This is because drinking by these youth is seen as an enticing “forbidden fruit,” a “badge of rebellion against authority” and a symbol of “adulthood.”” People often do things just because they’re told they can’t. Drinking is one of those many things. If we lowered the drinking age, drinking wouldn’t be such a big deal for eighteen year olds.

If the minimum drinking age is lowered, less people will have fake IDs. According to procon.org, “MLDA 21 encourages young adults to acquire and use false identification documents to procure alcohol. In this era of national security concerns, including terrorism, illegal immigration, and other threats, it would be better to have fewer fake IDs in circulation and more respect for the law.” A lot of people only have fake IDs in order to get alcohol while they are underage. If the drinking age were to be lowered, less people would need a fake ID, and more people would follow the law.

Less people would die from alcohol poisoning. According to theodysseyonline.com, “Many college deaths result from alcohol poisoning. When someone is clearly in need of medical assistance at a party, it’s not uncommon for an underage drinker to neglect to call an ambulance since they’re scared of getting in trouble.” Even though it’s illegal to drink while you’re under twenty-one, people do it anyways. If something bad happens to them, they will refuse to call anyone for help since they wouldn’t want to get caught.

A lot of other countries already have a lower drinking age. On theodysseyonline.com, it says, “According to the International Center for Alcohol Policies, there are only five other countries in the world with a minimum drinking age of 21 (Chile, Egypt, Honduras, Russia and Samoa). The other countries have their ages set somewhere between 16 and 20, and some don’t even have a minimum age,” If there are no problems with drinking at eighteen in those countries, then why does there have to be something wrong with drinking in America?

The minimum drinking age should be lowered to eighteen. 

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Should the Drinking Age be Lowered?