Alcohol consumption is the third leading actual cause of death in the United States, a major contributing factor to unintentional injuries, the leading cause of death for youths and young adults, and accounts for an estimated 75,000 or more total deaths in the United States annually (Wechsler). After all this, we still want to lower the legal drinking age to eighteen. Do we not see the danger we would put teenagers in? This ongoing controversy over whether or not to lower the drinking age can end if more people become aware of the harsh consequences that can follow such a drastic change. Lowering the legal drinking age will almost certainly lead to teens risking serious health problems, facing decreased academic performance, and engaging in further risky behavior.
Take into account the fact that a number of students have been caught drinking underage; it is obvious that there are significantly more underage drinkers. It is the job of the Police forces across America to protect lives, and do their best to prevent crimes. The Police forces serve both of those facets of their job description by stopping drivers who are under the influence, and only one by arresting teenage drinkers. On a college campus, the availability of alcohol to the average student is rather high. If that student belongs to a fraternity or sorority, it is even easier for them to obtain alcohol at parties or just at the house. I implore you to face the fact that there is no feasible way to stop college kids from drinking, at any age. Therefore, the police should not worry about busting up parties, and should worry more about stopping those kids from then getting in a car and driving somewhere. Others will claim that if the police cracked down on underage drinking that there would be less DUI arrests, and less DUI related accidents. They will say that the students could avoid drinking and partying until they are the legal age. I reject this claim because when you attend a party like that, you become the social outcast. When you are at a party and you do not drink, it is purportedly less fun for you and everyone else when you are sober.
There are groups out there, such as a group of college presidents, and their partner organization, Choose Responsibility, that claim that lowering the drinking age to 18 will “help young adults aged 18 to 20 years make healthy decisions about alcohol and lead to reductions in drinking and its negative effects” (Statistics Teenage Drunk Driving). Similar advocates may say that teens will drink no matter what; that perhaps these teens would find less of a need to binge drink if the legal age was actually 18 because it would no long be a “forbidden fruit.” This may seem logical, but in reality, it only does harm because the facilitated availability of alcohol to a younger population gives them the opportunity for greater and more hazardous alcohol consumption. Not only would this affect teens 18-20 years old, it would create a new underage drinking population, most likely teens 15-17 years old. These teens would become the new underage drinkers, trying to gain access to alcohol as 18-20 years had, because the legal drinking age would now be so close to their actual age compared to being previously at 21. Young teens will do many things just to fit into the “popular” crowd. Drinking, clubbing and partying are