Legal drinking age - 21 For Everyone?

Essay by Anonymous UserHigh School, 12th gradeB-, February 1995

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21 For Everyone?

Mike Bilyeu

In the United States, the legal drinking age for all 50 States and the District of Columbia is 21 years of age. The drinking age is 21 because the powers that control our government decided that when one becomes 21, one is magically transformed into a responsible person capable of handling the burden that comes with the right to consume alcohol. The drinking age is too high in this country. Why enact laws to prohibit an act that will be ignored by many of our peers?

The opposition may say that the higher drinking age discourage teenagers and young adults from consuming alcohol. They say the laws that force merchants to refuse to sell alcohol to persons under 21 years of age will help stem the 'problem' of underage consumption. They believe this will make it virtually impossible for people under 21 to obtain alcohol.

The opposition also believes that the laws against underage consumption of alcoholic beverages will dissuade young people from drinking alcohol.

The laws that prohibit merchants from selling alcohol to persons under 21 are hard to enforce. Even if they are enforced by the authorities, the establishment that breaks that law is rarely punished severely. For example, in Belmont County in Ohio, the police conducted raids of 5-10 different establishments in 1993 that had liquor licenses and reportedly to sell alcoholic beverages to minors. It was proven that each business in question had indeed been guilty of the charges. What would one suspect happen to the business? Wouldn't one expect for them to lose their liquor license? On the contrary, these businesses were given probation without so much as a fine.

Also, even if the person under 21 cannot go buy the alcohol himself because he is refused by a...