Essay: Modern Drinking Age: Should it be lowered?

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  • Subject area(s): Sociology essays
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  • Published on: January 14, 2020
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  • Modern Drinking Age: Should it be lowered?
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Today in the modern age a new issue has arisen. Should the minimum legal federal drinking age, currently at 21 be lowered to 18? Everyone can agree there is an issue. With the age being 21 many teens drink, some see it as a “forbidden fruit” while some just totally disregard the law. I personally believe that lowering the drinking age will result in safer alcohol consumption.
On July 17, 1984, the National Minimum Drinking Age Act was passed by the 98th Congress. Before this many states varied with their own personal laws. When the law was just put in place many disagreed the Federal Government put penalties on highway construction to force the states to comply. Today the law still stands while some have slight variations on the law all states outlaw sale of alcoholic beverages to anyone under 21.
“Each year, approximately 5000 young people under the age of 21 die as a result of underage drinking: this includes about 1900 deaths from motor vehicle crashes, 1600 as a result of homicides, 300 from suicide, as well as hundreds from other injuries such as falls, burns and drownings” (Merino 11). How many of these deaths could be prevented by lowering the drinking age? If the age was lowered colleges could easily set up places and times for students to safely drink. Currently many will drink underage but when something goes wrong they are afraid to get help because of the trouble they will get into for drinking in the first place. By many teens, today drinking is seen as a “forbidden fruit”. Teens are looking to drink because it’s not allowed. Some enjoy the thrill of breaking the law. Some are just peer pressured into drinking. If the law was lowered the “forbidden fruit” would instantly be destroyed, along with the thrill of breaking the law.
Today in the United States of America the legal age to be considered an adult is 18. You can buy taboacco which is quite argubally far more harmful than alcohol. You can join the United States Military, fighting and putting your life in harms way. You can legally gamble, another addiction as dangerous as odrinking in certain aspects. You can begin voting. You can also begin working full time at a job. You can even begin buying rifles and shotguns legally yet you cannot leggaly buy or ingest alcohol.
If the minimum legal drinking age was lowered to 18 then places could be set up to practice safe drinking habits. It would quickly destroy the”forbidden fruit” mentailtiy many have today. Places could be set up on college ground for all students to be able to drink without having a farther place to go. It could possibly reduce the number of underage drunk driving accidents that happen. If they were allowed to legally drink they wouldn’t be afraid to all a cab or find some other means of transportation to get home. If it was lowered accidents would also be lowered. Teens wouldnt be as afraid of the consequences to get help for someone who is hurt or has drank to much because they wouldnt be breaking the law.

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