6 Reasons Why the Drinking Age Should Be Lowered

6 Reasons Why the Drinking Age Should Be Lowered

You can vote. You can gamble. You can even serve in a war. But you can't have a drink? There's something strange about that...
27463
views

You’re considered a legal adult when you turn 18, but somehow you’re not “adult” enough to drink alcohol. Isn’t there something strange about that?

After three years of college, I’ve seen and experienced quite a few things. The late nights spent studying, the midnight runs to McDonald's for ice cream and fries, the spirited sporting events … All rather cliche college experiences. But perhaps the most cliche, and the most relevant to this discussion, is the partying — the binge drinking.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, four out of five American college students drink alcohol, and half of those partake in binge drinking. It was also found that 1,825 college students between 18 and 24 die each year as a result of injuries sustained while under the influence of alcohol. Clearly something needs to change. I believe that one of the best, most feasible ways to go about this issue is to lower the drinking age. And it’s not just about the logical reasons — it’s also about safety. And here’s why:

1. It wouldn’t be such a taboo.

It’s common knowledge that we’re more inclined to do the things we’re not supposed to do. There’s something badass about breaking the law. It’s an adrenaline rush to think that you could get caught. This only incites more people to drink. Add this to the peer pressure that surfaces during parties, and more often than not, you’ll be making yourself comfortable next to a toilet bowl. If it weren’t as badass anymore, people would feel less inclined to get plastered every weekend.

2. Consumption of hard alcohol would decrease.

First off, vodka is cheap (at least, it is if you’re drinking something nasty like Karkov or Burnett’s), and it doesn’t take much. A lot of people who are about to stumble through campus to a house party don’t want to get caught carrying anything, so they take a few shots of vodka to hold them over. Or if they’re willing to risk it, the only thing that’s small enough to carry discreetly needs to fit into a flask or a small water bottle. No one is bringing a bottle of wine to a party, and no one is rolling a keg down the street either. If there weren’t this fear of being caught, people would be more likely to have beer or other drinks with lower alcohol content, resulting in fewer dangerous situations. Which leads me to my next point…

3. There would be fewer deaths of college students.

Many college deaths result from alcohol poisoning. When someone is clearly in need of medical assistance at a party, it’s not uncommon for an underage drinker to neglect to call an ambulance since they’re scared of getting in trouble. There is such a thing as a Good Samaritan law, but when you’re intoxicated, that doesn’t really cross your mind. With more students of age on college campuses, people would be more likely to seek help for someone with alcohol poisoning.

As a student from Minnesota, I think one of the dangers that is often forgotten is cold weather. If you’ve ever been to a party that’s about to get busted, it’s pretty much a free-for-all. When the police arrive and it’s -20 degrees outside, no one is going to take the time to stop and find their coat if there’s a chance to make an escape. One guy I know even left his shoes and ran a couple of miles through the snow! And it’s so easy for friends to get separated. If someone is inebriated, it’s not out of the realm of possibility for him or her to pass out in the snow. A lot of people have died for these reasons. Not to mention, you’re probably going to injure yourself while running away, especially if your getaway involves jumping a fence or running through a heavily forested area. If college kids weren’t scared, these things wouldn’t happen.

4. If you can serve in a war, you should be able to have a drink.

I don’t think I need to elaborate on this one.

5. People will drink more responsibly.

When the drinking age in the United States was 18, there were underage drinkers. Now that the drinking age is 21, there are still underage drinkers. There's not really any avoiding the fact that there will always be people drinking underage. There wouldn’t necessarily be many more people drinking alcohol — there would simply be more people drinking responsibly.

6. Almost every other country in the world has a lower drinking age.

Literally. According to the International Center for Alcohol Policies, there are only five other countries in the world with a minimum drinking age of 21 (Chile, Egypt, Honduras, Russia and Samoa). The other countries have their ages set somewhere between 16 and 20, and some don’t even have a minimum age (although even I have to admit that might get a little out of hand). The most comparable country to the United States is probably Canada, where the drinking age is 18 or 19 depending on the province. Canada always seems to be one step ahead. We should be more like Canada.

So...

If you can vote, gamble, serve in a war and live on your own, you should be able to have a drink. Lowering the drinking age just makes sense. It would lead to more responsible drinking, and more responsible drinking leads to greater overall safety on college campuses. So I say, cheers to that!

Cover Image Credit: kaboompics

Popular Right Now

To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

270066
views

When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Dear Nancy Pelosi, 16-Year-Olds Should Not Be Able To Vote

Because I'm sure every sixteen year old wants to be rushing to the voting booth on their birthday instead of the BMV, anyways.

635
views

Recent politicians such as Nancy Pelosi have put the voting age on the political agenda in the past few weeks. In doing so, some are advocating for the voting age in the United States to be lowered from eighteen to sixteen- Here's why it is ludicrous.

According to a study done by "Circle" regarding voter turnout in the 2018 midterms, 31% of eligible people between the ages of 18 and 29 voted. Thus, nowhere near half of the eligible voters between 18 and 29 actually voted. To anyone who thinks the voting age should be lowered to sixteen, in relevance to the data, it is pointless. If the combination of people who can vote from the legal voting age of eighteen to eleven years later is solely 31%, it is doubtful that many sixteen-year-olds would exercise their right to vote. To go through such a tedious process of amending the Constitution to change the voting age by two years when the evidence doesn't support that many sixteen-year-olds would make use of the new change (assuming it would pass) to vote is idiotic.

The argument can be made that if someone can operate heavy machinery (I.e. drive a car) at sixteen, they should be able to vote. Just because a sixteen-year-old can (in most places) now drive a car and work at a job, does not mean that they should be able to vote. At the age of sixteen, many students have not had fundamental classes such as government or economics to fully understand the political world. Sadly, going into these classes there are students that had mere knowledge of simple political knowledge such as the number of branches of government. Well, there are people above the age of eighteen who are uneducated but they can still vote, so what does it matter if sixteen-year-olds don't know everything about politics and still vote? At least they're voting. Although this is true, it's highly doubtful that someone who is past the age of eighteen, is uninformed about politics, and has to work on election day will care that much to make it to the booths. In contrast, sixteen-year-olds may be excited since it's the first time they can vote, and likely don't have too much of a tight schedule on election day, so they still may vote. The United States does not need people to vote if their votes are going to be uneducated.

But there are some sixteen-year-olds who are educated on issues and want to vote, so that's unfair to them. Well, there are other ways to participate in government besides voting. If a sixteen-year-old feels passionate about something on the political agenda but can't vote, there are other ways of getting involved. They can canvas for politicians whom they agree with, or become active in the notorious "Get Out The Vote" campaign to increase registered voter participation or help register those who already aren't. Best yet, they can politically socialize their peers with political information so that when the time comes for all of them to be eighteen and vote, more eighteen-year-olds will be educated and likely to vote.

If you're a sixteen-year-old and feel hopeless, you're not. As the 2016 election cycle approached, I was seventeen and felt useless because I had no vote. Although voting is arguably one of the easiest ways to participate in politics, it's not the only one. Since the majority of the current young adult population don't exercise their right to vote, helping inform them of how to stay informed and why voting is important, in my eyes is as essential as voting.

Sorry, Speaker Pelosi and all the others who think the voting age should be lowered. I'd rather not have to pay a plethora of taxes in my later years because in 2020 sixteen-year-olds act like sheep and blindly vote for people like Bernie Sanders who support the free college.

Related Content

Facebook Comments