8 Reasons Why The Drinking Age Should Be Lowered

8 Reasons Why The Drinking Age Should Be Lowered

If you are expected to make responsible, adult decisions at the age of 18, why can't alcohol be one of those decisions?
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There has always been a huge fascination with alcohol. We know that it can damage our bodies and have serious side effects, but this is why our fascination with alcohol needs to be noticed, and the age limit should be lowered. Countries across the globe have legal ages ranging from 16 to 18, to no age limit at all, which makes the United States the only country in the world to have an age limit set to 21. Children, who grow up in countries with lower age limits, learn their limit of consumption, they don’t go out and get wasted every weekend, and they drink in safe environments. They are raised around alcohol and are raised by people who have no fascination with it because alcohol is simply a part of life.

1. If you can vote, serve your country, and marry at the age of 18, you should be able to consume alcohol.

The age of 18 is a significant age for most American teenagers. You can serve your country as a member of the military and you can vote for the people who run your local, state, and national governments, so with that being said, you should be able to relax with an alcoholic beverage once in a while, right? Alcohol, when used responsibly, is a great way to unwind from adult stressors in life, and if you are able to make so many other important decisions in life, you should be able to make the decision to drink responsibly.

2. You can purchase cigarettes and tobacco products at 18.

More than 480,000 people die each year from smoking cigarettes, while drinking causes nearly 88,000 deaths per year. As these are both high numbers, deaths caused by smoking is nearly 4 times higher than drinking, but yet, 18 year olds can still purchase cigarettes and tobacco products. Both are "killers," but what sense does it make for the products with the most deaths be legal at a younger age?

3. Lowering the drinking age would decrease unsafe drinking activity.

The majority of underage drinking occurs at house parties, in frat houses, or in your friend’s barn back in the woods. These types of parties encourage binge drinking and can lead to dangerous situations like jumping off the roof or destroying a beer pong table. Now don’t get me wrong, lowering the drinking age won’t limit the amount of “ragers” thrown, but it can lower the amount of stupid decisions because they will have more of a tolerance from learning responsible drinking at a younger age.

4. There are fewer drunk driving accidents in countries with a lower drinking age.

In the U.S. the law creates a reason for underage drinkers to hide their intoxication, leading them to get behind the wheel of a vehicle. They are afraid to call home or get a ride because they are afraid to admit they are drunk, so underage drinkers tend to put matters into their own hands.

5. Underage drinkers will consume alcohol either way.

People who want to drink alcohol underage will find a way to drink alcohol. It is not hard to find alcohol and whether the drinking age is 21 or 18, there will still be underage drinkers. However, some underage drinkers get their hands on alcohol and drink it like water because they aren’t sure when the next time they can drink again. So instead of forbidding the alcohol, why not give them what they want in a regulated environment since they are just going to do it anyways.

6. Lowering the drinking age would be good for the economy.

According to The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, underage drinking accounts for about 17.5 percent of consumer spending in the U.S. If you put that into numbers, that is 22.5 billion dollars per year. If more people could buy alcohol legally, it would boost the revenue even more. More people would also be legal to drink in bars, restaurants, and other establishments, which would boost tax revenue as well.

7. Lowering the drinking age would result in more public drinking, making it easier for law enforcement to regulate it.

No one wants to drink at house parties forever; no one wants to drink before they go to dinner, just because they know they can’t buy the alcohol there, and no one wants to sneak a flask into concerts. People want to enjoy alcohol publically, and as people drink publically it makes it safer because there is no hiding involved.

8. Many states already allow alcohol consumption under the age of 21.

All states have their drinking age set at 21, but 45 states have exceptions. 29 states allow underage consumption to take place on private property as long as there is parental consent, and 6 of those states allow consumption even without parental consent. Then there are 10 states that permit underage drinkers to consume alcohol where it is sold, as long as they have parental consent. So, with all of these exceptions, wouldn’t it be smart to take the final step of lowering the legal limit?

I am not saying that lowering the age will take away the problems with drinking. Consuming alcohol will always require responsibility and too much consumption will always cause problems. There are problems with lowering the legal age, but in my opinion, the pros outweigh the cons. The fascination with alcohol won’t go away instantly if the limit is lowered, but young children will gradually start learning alcohol safety and the right ways to enjoy alcohol, which is all we really want in the end.

Cover Image Credit: www.bu.edu

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads

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I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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