The debate between lowering the drinking age to 18 or keeping it at 21 is a very hot topic for high school and college students nation wide. I'm in favor with lowering the drinking age but not by any means because I want to be able to drink sooner. At the age of 18 you are considered a legal adult in most states and you are finally able to vote, sign up for the military, sign legal contracts on your own, and even adopt a child. To me those seem to be very mature decisions, so whats making drinking alcohol a more mature responsibility then let's say, adopting a child?
The United States is one of the countries with the highest drinking age besides New Zealand where you have to be 21 to drink on your own but are still allowed to drink at the age of 18 with an adult. Mexico, France, Canada, and Australia are all countries with drinking ages of 18. In Germany you can start drinking at the age of 5 if its at dinner time, at 16 you can buy your own alcohol for meals, and once you hit 18 you are able to drink for what ever reason (shea). One of the biggest arguments of lowering the drinking age is that there will be more traffic accidents caused by drunk drivers. But according to ProCon.org, even with the United States increasing the minimum legal drinking age to 21, its rate of traffic fatalities in the 1980s decreased less than that of European countries whose legal drinking ages are lower than 21. Regardless the drinking age, there are still going to be people out there that will choose to make stupid decisions and drive while intoxicated. Just because you are 21 doesn't mean that your brain won't be affected any differently then that of an 18 year old who is just as drunk.
Because drinking is prohibited to anyone below the age of 21, it provides more a of thrill to minors to drink. If The drinking age was lowered, people wouldn't see it as another rule that they can try and break. Usually when a teenager is told no, they have more of a desire to break that rule because it's off limits to them. Along with the drinking age being at 21, it causes a barrier when someone has over-drank and is in a serious health condition and could possibly die. They are afraid to seek help because they might get in trouble with either their parents or even the law because they have been participating in underage drinking.
Enforcing the law of underage drinking takes a lot of time and money. Instead of wasting the money on trying to reinforce the law that is just going to continually get broken, the money should be spent on educational programs that teach children and young adults about the dangers of drinking and how to drink responsibly. If children are taught how to drink responsibly and its not something that they are forbidden to do, they are more then likely to take it more seriously and drink more responsible. Also, alcohol has been proven to be good for your health, but only in moderate amounts. So if the drinking age is at 21, 21-year-olds and higher are the only ones that can use that type of medical treatment so to say.
Just because the drinking age should be lowered, doesn't mean that people are just going to be able to get drunk at an earlier age. It could potentially reduce binge drinking and deaths caused by alcohol poisoning if people aren't afraid to get help and money is spent on the education of alcohol and it isn't just another law that young adults are trying to sneak behind. Also, what makes having the choice to drink alcohol any different from selecting the next president, having a child, or joining the military?
Lisa Shea -> http://www.wineintro.com/wineries/drinkingages.html