Lowering The Drinking Age

Submitted By thevicao
Words: 719
Pages: 3

Thevi Cao
Eng 50
Essay #4 Final Draft
26 November 2013


Alcohol has been in American culture dating back to the early colonial times. Alcohol is used for celebrating or just to make oneself feel better. The legal drinking age has been 21 since the 1980’s, but that has not stopped teens and young adults from consuming alcohol. In the argument over whether to lower the legal drinking age from 21 to 18, three noteworthy questions involve how consumption of alcohol can higher or lower the fatality rate, it can help teach young adults to consume alcohol in moderation, and the effects of drinking towards adolescence. One argument that is examined is that having the drinking age where it is at now will lower fatality rates. Michele Simon recorded fatalities in 1984 when the legal drinking age was standardized to 21 and stated that the fatality rate among drivers of ages 18-20 has dropped 13% (253). When the drinking age was 18 in the 1970’s however, the traffic fatalities increased (Simon 253). Also when people are intoxicated, their mindset is altered which can lead into making poor choices. Elizabeth Whalen read a story about a college student who was intoxicated on alcohol climbing a moving train and almost killing himself in the process (259). There are many stories similar to the one Whalen had read at all colleges around the country. Studies also show that when states lowered the minimum legal drinking age caused many fatalities amongst teenagers (Cucchiaro et al., 1974; Douglas et., 1974; Wagenaar, 1983, 1993; Whitehead, 1977; Whitehead et., 1975; Williams et al., 1974). Another topic that is highly debated is that lowering the minimum legal drinking age will help young adults learn to drink in moderation. Elizabeth Whalen was helping her daughter get ready for her life in college and the parties she will be attending in the future by introducing her to alcohol at a younger age. Her incentive was to help her daughter realize the positive and negative effects of alcohol so she can make her own judgments to whether or not to partake in the consumption in alcohol (259). Andrew Stuttaford expresses that parents are the best to determine when and how their child should be allowed to drink (263). He says it should be intertwined with their child’s life while they grow up. Parents should not shelter their children towards the consumption of alcohol. Many argue saying that it is much better to expose your child to alcohol at a younger age so they can have enough knowledge about it so they can make their own judgments. But on the other hand, giving your child alcohol at a young age can also bring risk to their health in the future. The third and final argument is how alcohol can affect