The Legal Drinking Age

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2002

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The Minimum Legal Drinking Age Should Be Reduced To 18 At the age of 18, one has almost all the rights of an adult, except the right to drink. The country sees an 18-year-old as mature enough to handle out adult choices, responsibility, and privileges. Most 18-year-olds are allowed to help decide the fate of the country through their right to vote. They are allowed to gamble, go to a strip club and to have no enforced curfew. They are old enough o die for their country if the United States were to go to war. If they commit a crime they are tried as an adult and if convicted of a serious crime can be given the death penalty. It is legal for them to buy cigarettes. Yet, they are not adult enough to choose whether or not to have an alcoholic beverage.

A majority of college students under age 21 consume alcohol, but in irresponsible manners.

Many youths perceive alcohol as glamorous and a forbidden fruit, a way to rebel against parents and society, and a symbol of adulthood. This law does not prevent young people from drinking alcohol, but instead makes them find more creative ways of obtaining it. Many teenagers will obtain fake I.D.s, steal alcohol from their parents liquor cabinet, or ask older friends, or even strangers, to buy alcohol for them. These behaviors are more dangerous than the responsible drinking that these teens would be doing with these laws in place. "Those under the age of 21 are more likely to be heavy drinkers (consuming over five drinks at least once a week or more). For example, 22% of all students under 21 compared to 18% over 21 years of age are heavy drinkers,"