I just don’t get it, why do people feel the need to drink underage? I am 17 years old, and I can honestly say I have never had more than a sip of alcohol, and I was under my parent's supervision at the time. I have no desire to drink. In fact, and I know it sounds harsh, but I think less of people’s character if they do drink underage.
My first objection to underage drinking is this: It is illegal. As children, we have practically no civil responsibilities. We have to go to school; actually, it’s our parent's job to make us go to school. We aren’t supposed to kill anyone or steal anything. We don’t have to pay taxes or buy insurance. We don’t have to vote. We’ll never be called to jury duty. And you know why — because we’re minors!
I don’t care how old you are. If you are still in high school and under the age of 18, in the eyes of the law, you are still a minor with very few specific laws pertaining to your age group*. One of those laws is that it is illegal to consume alcohol. Now, think about this. We, as minors, have one specific civil law that’s not of grave moral standing that pertains to us. Adults have so many more, and those are laws that, for the most part, they follow. We, however, can’t seem to follow our one and only law. Why is that? It truly baffles me. No wonder teenagers are viewed as reckless creatures and there’s such a negative stigma towards being a young person in our culture today. This exists because people our age can’t show a single ounce of self-control, and they embarrass their responsible peers by association.
My second objection to underage drinking is this: Plastered across every billboard and beer commercial is the phrase “please drink responsibly." Adults seem to be able to do this. They have a drink here and a drink there, but they still know their limits**. But, have you noticed that teenage drinking never really seems to follow the “please drink responsibly” guidelines? Instead, you hear stories of people getting wasted, trashed, throwing up, hooking up, driving, ditching cops, blacking out or getting their stomach pumped. This is what is associated with underage drinking. There is nothing responsible about it. Maybe if kids were able to drink an appropriate amount instead of downing whatever is at hand, then the drinking restrictions wouldn’t be so strict. As I said before, the underage behavior associated with underage drinking is why we aren’t trusted with alcohol. Alcohol is not an evil, but when abused it leads to nothing but bad. So stop abusing it. Stop making a fool of yourself.
*In the US, one of the big topics in debate is lowering the drinking age to 18. I honestly don’t know how I feel about it. I see both sides. I’m hopeful that it won’t be as much of a thrill for people who are in that age range from 18-21 who will then be able to drink. I’m hopeful that it will tame their behavior regarding alcohol, but there are still obvious risks which I’m not sure we can prevent. You turn 18 your senior year in high school. Should high schoolers be able to supply alcohol at social events? Another part of the debate is that when you turn 18, you are allowed to vote and to enroll for the military, but yet you still aren’t allowed to drink alcohol. Is this right? You are now considered an adult in the eyes of the law, but you can’t consume alcohol. I don’t agree with this. I believe that if you are considered an adult, then you should be allowed to drink; however, there is still risk when it comes to 18-year-olds in high school and the high distribution rates to minors.
**I am well aware that not all adults consume alcohol responsibly. I am well aware that drunk driving and alcoholism run rampant in our culture, but for this article specifically I was focusing on the issue of underage drinking.