The debate on lowering the drinking age has raised controversy everywhere. Many Americans are reluctant to promote this cause and cannot accept our government’s flaw of instituting the Minimum Drinking Legal Age at 21. This presumed “life saving” law has instead brought great harm to the welfare of our children. To eliminate the excitement of drinking, combat the amounts of rape and create safer environments for the consumption of alcohol, the Minimum Drinking Legal Age should be lowered to 18.
Young adults will inevitably drink. They are consuming the apple in the Garden of Eden. The law was passed in 1984 to decrease traffic deaths. Statistics show it worked, but many fail to acknowledge the laws and inventions that were put into effect in following years, such as stricter D.U.I. penalties and seat belts.
Since most adults and the law prohibit children from consuming alcohol, they eventually resort to parties and social outings in which alcohol is present. These designated locations are where they binge and they engage in various forms of self-destruction. This is seen as socially acceptable, as it is the “norm” for teens all across the country. As seen in many trends as soon as it becomes normal and available to all, the excitement dies down. The oblivious young drinkers do not know when to stop, as they keep chugging down foreign substances until foam comes seeping out of their mouths.
America has the highest binge drinking rate among the European countries with their culturally relaxed way with alcohol at the “dinner table." Let us try to learn from them and make sure the first time they get drunk will not end their innocent lives. A study written in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs found that between 1998 and 2005 the number of alcohol poisoning cases, in the U.S., went from 779 to 2,290 among 18 to 24-year-olds. This is a grave reminder of where we are traveling today.
Colleges are well known for their frat parties. These fraternity houses have become the center of drinking and irresponsible behavior. Sadly, heinous crimes such as rape are connected to the minimum drinking age. The new students being away from their parents, experience an abrupt sense of freedom influencing them to be careless and over drinking. The great amount of alcohol intake dominates their bodies, making them unresponsive to their surroundings. When they are drunk they will be targeted for sexual assault. They need to learn how to drink and understand their limit. If they possessed this freedom beforehand, they would not take advantage of it in this dangerous setting. Would you really want to put your children in these circumstances, or would you want to help them before they make life-threatening mistakes?
Underage drinkers are forced to put themselves into risky situations. As stated numerous times, adolescents will drink and staying in the dark until they are 21 is hazardous. Getting a drink at home or at a bar is safer then chugging down five cups of mysterious punch. Adults can also serve as models for moderation. In order to give our children a chance before college to learn and become responsible, we must decrease the drinking age to 18. Changes will only happen when the law changes. With all this evidence and common sense it might be unclear on why this law has not been altered. The general public only takes the number of minors drinking in public and health risks into consideration, rather than viewing it from a different perspective, thus, making them both ignorant and negligent to the binge drinking and rape that happens behind closed doors. As Glaser stated,” Raising the drinking age to 21 hasn’t reduced drinking, it’s merely driven it underground, to the riskiest of setting,” commenting on the failure of the minimum drinking age law and how it affected the adolescent world. It is time to help the parents, to help the children and to better the world.
The minimum drinking age must be lowered to 18 to stop binge drinking, fight rape, and present safer environments for our children. History has repeated itself today. The famous Prohibition lasted only a little more than a decade and many died due to binge drinking and tainted alcohol. This trend is present today. When the age finally gets abated, parents will have more freedom and desire to educate their children before they go on their own. They will help teach alcohol’s effect and the moderation of drinking during their child’s senior year. I believe together we can change the course of this nation.