Yes, I Am Underage

Any american can "legally" put their life on the line to fight for our country at 18 but they cannot "legally" take a sip of alcohol until they're 21. So they can die fighting for our freedom, but they do not have the freedom to drink as they please?

That is one of many situations that causes me to strongly disagree with the National Minimum Drinking Age Act. Between the ages of 18-20 one can pursue any job they would like whether it is a lineman, a construction worker or a desk clerk. We can work just as hard or even harder than a 30 or 40 year old, but here is the difference: after a long, hard day at work we cannot sit down and relax with a drink of our choosing. Same job, same work, same effort being put in. Fixing the American streets, fixing the American telephone lines, answering your phone calls. Working to help our communities and our society, but when we get home at night, it is illegal of us to have a drop of alcohol in our systems.

Yes, I am a college kid and yes, I have seen the negative effects of alcohol. I am not asking for the act to be taken away completely, but I strongly believe it makes more sense for the minimum age to be lowered to 18. I am appalled every time I find out someone received an "underage" drinking ticket. They did not receive the ticket for the way they were acting nor for the amount they had consumed, but strictly because of their age. There are many people out there consuming a deadly amount of alcohol, putting others lives at risk by getting behind the wheel and doing many other hazardous things while intoxicated. But instead of reprimanding the ones committing an actual crime, you are going to ticket innocent teenagers that were just socializing at a house, because of their age?

If there is one thing that sums up my opinion on underage drinking, it is that age does not define one's maturity. An 18 year old going off to college and starting his career is going to be a hell of a lot smarter with alcohol than a 40 year old whose life is falling apart. That 22-year gap means nothing when it comes down to responsible drinking. The one who has a greater chance of drinking responsibly is not the one that is the legal age. A 20 year old that just had a long day at work is going to be more responsible than the 35 year old that just lost his job. Age is just a number. It does not tell you where someone is in life or what actions they will take. So why does the national minimum drinking age act tell 18-,19-, or 20 year olds that they are not ready to drink and do not have the right to drink?

This is for the 18-20 year olds that got a $300 ticket for drinking with their friends while the numerous alcoholics over the age of 21 got off with no charge after consuming a dangerous amount of alcohol because they are of age. This is for the 18-20 year olds that have had to be picked up from a police station for having a couple drinks while there are numerous drunk drivers on the streets that are over the age of 21 but were not even questioned because they looked of age.

I know in my heart that police officers are only following the acts and laws given to them, so all I can hope for is that one day people realize an 18-20 year old drinking is not a hazard and is not life threatening. There are many other people in this world that should have the police force's attention and should be getting reprimanded. At 18, one becomes a legal adult and he or she should have the choice to decided if he or she wants to have a few drinks. For living in a free country where I can vote, play the lotto, smoke tobacco and enlist in the army, all at 18. I am beyond grateful for my freedom but there is something missing, my freedom of choice. The choice to drink what I want, when I want.

I am a legal adult, and my government telling me what I can and cannot drink makes me feel more like a child.

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