The prompt for this essay was, "Do you agree or disagree with the drinking age in the United States?" This essay explains and gives reasons why the drinking age should be lowered in the United States.

Essay by Jwp1534High School, 11th grade October 2002

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Why the Drinking Age Should be Lowered

        The drinking age in the United States should be lowered to age 18. There are several reasons why it makes sense to make this change in the nation. These would include, for example, the fact that drinking is treated as an adult privilege and yet when a person attains the age of 18, an adult, he or she cannot yet drink. The case against lowering the drinking age is not very strong; many of the points made against it should not be considered.

        First and foremost, the strongest argument for lowering the drinking age has to do with the American standard of adulthood. By our standards, a person is considered an adult when he or she turns 18. Adults are give specific privileges; why shouldn't the opportunity to drink alcohol be one of them. When a person in the United States turns 18, he or she can vote, be drafted, buy cigarettes, buy lottery tickets, pay taxes, serve on juries, be tried as an adult, and get married.

All of these things require a certain amount of responsibility, just as drinking does, and yet 18-year olds can do them. Therefore, they should be allowed to drink as well.

        A big argument against lowering the drinking age is that many people feel that 18-year olds have not attained the level of responsibility that is necessary to be able to drink. An interesting fact is that, during the years of 1982- 1986, minimum drinking ages in the U.S. varied anywhere from 18-21. Despite this, the number of alcohol-related

traffic fatalities for people under the age of 21 dropped 14%. (ICAP). In addition to this fact, it is completely wrong to make a generalization that implies that only 18-20 year olds are irresponsible. Often times people...