The Drinking Age
The legal drinking age in all states should be eighteen. First, the problems and costs associated with underage drinking might be alleviated. Second, studies show that alcohol is easily obtained, and most eighteen-year-olds who do so drink sensibly. Next, Louisiana's experiments with lowering the drinking age to eighteen show no changes. Last, other eighteen-year-old rights prove that drinking should be legal.
The problems and costs associated with underage drinking might be alleviated. Since underage drinking is an age-old problem, taxpayers' money is being wasted policing drinking establishments and prosecuting violators. (Charles S. Clark, “Underage Drinking,” March 13, 1992, p.3) Lowering the drinking age would apparently solve this problem. The Drinking Age Bill unfairly discriminates against eighteen-year-olds who can marry, carry weapons, serve in the military, and vote. (Charles S. Clark, “Underage Drinking,” March 13, 1992, p.3)
Everyday, taxpayers’ money is spent controlling underage drinking and deciding the consequences that will follow. If the age of majority were to be lowered to eighteen, taxpayers’ money could be saved to use on something more valuable. In addition, teenagers would not feel as though they were being controlled.
In addition to saving money, studies show that alcohol is easily obtained and most eighteen-year-olds who do so drink sensibly. A ten-year-old study found that youngsters who experiment moderately are better-adjusted than youngsters who are completely abstinent. It is hard not allowing eighteen-year-olds to drink when over 90% of the underage population say it is very easy to obtain alcohol. A 1994 study on substance abuse found that 55.7% of eighteen-year-olds in the U.S. and Alberta, Canada drink sensibly. (“The Age of Exile,” March 25, 1995, p.1) Studies in the 1970s show that underage drinking causes as many drunk-driving fatalities as are caused by twenty-one-year-old drivers. (Warren Boroson, “Drinking Age,” August 8, 1993, p. 2)
Eighteen-year-olds whose parents introduced alcohol to them when they were younger are, according to studies, the people who drink more sensibly. Studies exhibit that the younger a person begins to drink in the home, the more accustomed that person will be to rational drinking. (Richard Karp, “Prohibition Redux?,” July/August 1992, p. 5) In addition to this, studies show that 44% of families that allow their children to drink transcend in several areas: driving, school performance, responsibility as an adult, and knowledge of the consequences of their behavior.
Louisiana's experiments with lowering the drinking age to eighteen show no changes. In the opinion of many legislators, other states that expect youngsters not to drink at all until they reach twenty-one and then to suddenly become responsible drinkers, does not seem realistic. When Louisiana lowered the drinking age to eighteen, not many eighteen-year-olds went out and plastered themselves, showing that eighteen-year-olds can be responsible drinkers. Alcohol advertisements encourage the underage population to drink, which is a major problem while trying to keep the age of majority at twenty-one. (Charles S. Clark, “Underage Drinking,” March 13, 1992, p.3) Since it is so easy for eighteen-year-olds to obtain alcohol in Louisiana and so many drink, drinking should be made legal for them.
Finally, other eighteen-year-old rights prove that drinking should be legal. When the Vietnam War was raging, a central argument arose that someone old enough to die should be old enough to drink. Many parents agree that if their children at the age of eighteen can fight and die for their country, they should be able to enjoy a drink. Eighteen-year-olds are tried in court as adults all over America, so they should be able to drink. “Maybe we ought to raise the age of majority to twenty-one,” said Senator Ron Landry of California. “If you are going to do this, then don't let eighteen-year-olds buy and sell weapons,” says George Brown, former governor of Louisiana.
Eighteen-year-olds are considered adults by being able to fight for their country, being able to buy and sell weapons, and in the legal system being tried as adults. They should be considered adults when it comes to drinking. Also, since it is so easy for the underage population to obtain alcohol and advertisements are directed towards the underage population, eighteen-year-olds should have the right to drink.