Changing Legal Drinking Age

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate September 2001

download word file, 3 pages 0.0

Hello ladies and gentlemen. I am Dr. Hillion, a professor at UW Madison. I am here to educate you, the public, about positive and negative facts and opinions about the bill being proposed to change the legal drinking age of 21 to 18 years of age.

A recent poll of 15,500 teens shows that nearly 60% of 8th graders have tried alcohol. That number jumps to 77% of 10th graders and 85% of high school seniors. Those percentages are appalling. They show that majorities of young people under 21 consume alcohol, and too many of them do so in an irresponsible manner. This is largely because drinking is seen by the youth as a "badge of rebellion against authority," and a symbol of adulthood. If the legal age was changed to 18 years old, it is believed that alcohol-related deaths, and irresponsible drinking occurrences would be likely to go down, because a big reason why people under 21 drink is to rebel.

Many U.S. citizens also disagree upon the currant drinking age. Many believe it should be changed to 18 because that is the age at which teens turn into legal adults. It seems unfair to many observers to allow 18-20 year olds to marry, to have children, to own cars, homes and firearms and to be financially and socially independent, and yet to be legally prohibited from drinking a glass of wine in a restaurant, or even a glass of champagne at their own wedding. Many agree that 18 year olds are mature and responsible enough to drink, especially because at 18 you are old enough to be drafted for the risk of losing your life for a country but yet not old enough to drink. That is a big argument among many college students today.

Others do beg...