And do I want my eighteen year old who is as mature as an eight year old drinking alcohol legally? Hmmm?
If you haven’t already heard, there are several states in the U.S. looking into legally lowering the drinking age to eighteen from the current twenty-one.
Proponents of this argument feel teenagers who are allowed to vote and fight for their country should also be allowed to drink alcohol legally.
Opponents cite binge drinking by minors who increasingly turn to hard liquor as enough proof minors are too irresponsible to begin drinking at such a young age.
However some say even though the drinking age was made twenty-one with the best of intentions, it has had one of the worst outcomes. Naysayers feel underage drinking has been pushed underground into hiding, heightening its risks, where there has been loss of control and monitoring by responsible individuals.
But why weaken a law that saves lives?
Statistics have shown fewer alcohol related fatalities have been reported since 1984. At that time, all states had to raise their drinking age to twenty-one or face losing 10% of their federal highway funding money.
So did the law keep those under twenty-one from drinking? Not really.
A federal government survey on Drug Use and Health done in 2005 found, 85% of 20-year-old Americans reported they used alcohol.
Yes, the United States does have the oldest drinking age in the world. Most nations have a law allowing sixteen or eighteen year olds to partake in alcohol consumption while others have no drinking age at all.
And yes, binge drinking by eighteen to twenty year olds might slow down if alcohol became legal at a younger age.
But since the drinking age is not federally mandated and can be different from state to state, will teens be crossing state lines to buy alcohol putting them more at risk for an increase in traffic-related-alcohol-deaths?
And of course there is always the argument about the adolescent brain not being fully mature and that the consumption of alcohol seriously damages the development process.
But even with all the pros and cons, does our country just need to make a decision? The decision being, at what age are you an adult?
If you are not responsible enough to be an adult until the age of twenty-one then should you be able vote, serve in the military, be considered an adult in a court of law, be able to marry or enter into binding contracts until the age of twenty-one?
I just don’t know.
I feel the 13% reduction in alcohol-related-deaths from drunk driving is a good enough reason to keep the drinking age at twenty-one.
However, having to defend this country at the age of eighteen and to not be considered an adult in regards to alcohol consumption is also completely absurd to me.
I just don’t know what the right answer is, and I agree with both sides to some extent.