Essay on Underage Drinking: Should the Legal Drinking Age be 20?

Submitted By mylesanderson
Words: 1221
Pages: 5

Miles Andersen
22 March 2013 Life as a teenager is full of choices, good or bad; some may change your life forever or just ruin your next morning. Everyday young people try alcohol for their first time, many like it and continue to drink, while others will never take another sip in their life. Underage drinking can affect people’s lives in many different areas such as your body’s health, brain, and family life. Many people believe that the legal age to drink alcohol should be eighteen because if someone is a legal adult then they should have the ability to drink, however many studies have shown very contradicting evidence and facts to propose that the legal drinking age should stay at twenty one. In America when you turn eighteen you are able to sign up for the military, leave home, go to college, and be free of your parents watch and rules. Freedom at eighteen is believed by most to be the age where you can do whatever you want, including drink. However years of science and debate has maintained our legal drinking age of twenty one in all fifty states. Even though there are a few exceptions to this law such as the ability to drink with a parent in Louisiana and Wisconsin if you are a minor. (Kentucky) These two states still have a legal drinking age of twenty one and don’t allow for minors to purchase alcohol or drink in public bars, they must be on private property and have parental supervision. In nineteen eighty four the National Minimum Drinking Age Act was passed and it pushed all states to make their drinking age twenty one, or they would lose millions in federal highway funding. (Ethan) Soon enough all states would follow in a process called majority law, which is the process of one state after another changing its laws due to the rest of the nation. (Ethan) Now day’s police are forcing more and more kids away from drinking due to these no nonsense policies. Back when the drinking age was eighteen, the penalties for drinking underage were almost nothing too what they are today. Societal views on underage drinking have gotten very strict since the Minimum Drinking Age Act of nineteen eighty four was passed, mainly in part due to the overwhelming conservative views of our presidents. A very fine example of this is Ronald Reagan’s campaign of “JUST SAY NO”, which was too influence kids to stay away from drugs and alcohol. Law enforcement looked at this campaign as a push to become more tricter and creating no nonsense polices around the country, such as a minor in possession can be thousands of dollars in fines and jail time for repeat offenders. (Kentucky) Something such as a minor in possession could affect someone for life because it goes on their permanent record and many businesses will not accept someone with a criminal record, even though this is many times, in most states, not a criminal offense. (Scherer) In a society that is expanding exponentially every single day, people who are a menace to society or do not have a completely clean slate, are frowned upon by many big companies, or federal agencies. (Kentucky) This may sound harsh because people can change and may have made a stupid mistake when they were younger, but the competition for jobs these days’ forces companies to ignore people with the slightest infractions on their records. Some may look at this as a downside to the drinking age of twenty one, when it really is not because the laws are made to protect our future generations or to allow for our country to prosper in wealth and expansion. Without the legal drinking age of twenty one many wonderful brains, bodies, and families would be ruined due to underage drinking. Minors who choose to drink under the age of twenty one put their health in danger, even though they may feel drunk or hung over for just a few hours. Really, any regular drinking even just one a week can cause memory problems, changes in brain development and abuse of other drugs. (USA CDC) Underage drinking is usually very