Yunan Zhai Jeremy essay






Thedrinking age should be lowered

Theminimum legal drinking age has been a contentious issue in the UnitedStates for many years. The minimum legal drinking age has been set at21 years. The minimum drinking age has attracted a lot of controversydue to its ineffectiveness in controlling children drinking and thefact that the American considers individuals aged 18 years and aboveas “adults”. Those who support a lower minimum drinking age haveargued that the current minimum legal drinking age does not stopyounger individuals from drinking alcohol. They have faulted the lawarguing that it is responsible for binge drinking among the youths inprivate environments with threatens their lives. On the other hand,supporters of the current minimum legal drinking age have argued thatindividuals younger than 21 years are not experienced enough tohandle alcohol. The likelihood of teenagers injuring or killingthemselves and others due to the influence of alcohol is relativelyhigher compared to adults (Mironet al. 2007).This paper argues that the minimum drinking age should be lowered to18 years.

Doyou think the drinking age limit of 21 years is really a good way tocontrol “people” and it has more positive points for thegovernment nowadays? The minimum legal drinking age has been set at21 by common consents of all states in America. Despite this, thereare disagreements between people who agree to lower the age andothers who believe the regulations are reasonable. Many supportersbelieve that the minimum legal drinking age of 21 is very effectivein diminishing the number of traffic fatalities. However, many factshave indicated that connections between the fatalities and age ofindividuals are not that close.

Ifthe distinctiveness of drinking behaviors is considered and thebenefits brought about by a lower drinking age, there is norationality of lowering the minimum legal drinking age from 21 yearsto 18 years. First of all, among the things “adults” do, onlydrinking is allowed at 21. After that, lowering the drinking age haspositive effects in many aspects. Then, it found that, different fromthe US, many other countries have set their drinking age at 18proving it less necessary for the US to keep its due regulation. Theineffectiveness of MLDA 21 has been questioned. Finally, one ideathat contradicts the belief of supporters of the MLDA 21 was given.

First,adults can make their own decisions. One of the most significantchanges in being an adult must be people’s becoming free to maketheir own decisions and being responsible for themselves as well astheir behaviors. Once an American turns 18, he or she will beofficially defined as an adult, which means that they automaticallyreceive their legal rights to work,participate in contracts, voteand marry(Ellis-Christensen,2016). Also, the newly legal adults are allowed to choose whether towork on things involving chance of risks, including smoking, joiningthe military (ProCon.ORG, 2016).But comparing the drinking with these acts, regulations on theminimum legal drinking age are seen to be less sensible. They onlyallow the newly legal adults to have alcohol consumption after theygrow up to 21 years old, 3 years later than all the rest of thebehaviors. Actually, no particular harm was done in purchasing anddrinking alcohol. Regarded to be the similar behavior, now thatsmoking is allowed at the age of 18, no clear evidence is foundstrong enough to explain why drinking was not allowed before 21.

Secondly,drinking brings pleasure. Many of the supporters have claimed thereare several positive effects of lowering the drinking age. Theseeffects do not only help drinkers enjoy themselves, but alsocontribute to a more comprehensive system of law and a bettersociety. There is no denying that drinking is enjoyable and it bringspleasure (ProCon.ORG., 2016). As people grow up, having more troublesdealing with difficulties of adulthood, drinking is becoming a commonway to release pressures and get emotionally exited. Lowering thedrinking age exactly satisfies young adults’ need. Alcoholicbeverages are also necessities during parties and other socialactivities. For newly legal adults, many of whom are college studentswho have more opportunities to gather in groups for parties, it isimpractical to keep them away from pleasure of drinking.

Anobvious advantage that legal consumption of alcohol brings to thesociety is economic growth. If young adults are able to enjoy alcoholbeverages without violating the law, the whole alcohol “industry”including bars, alcohol producers and grain farmers will benefit.This is a great chance for the development of some states who boasttheir grain output. Furthermore, a booming industry will pay moretaxes to the government, which will improve the infrastructures ofthe society in return.

Moreover,situations in other countries indicate that it is unnecessary to setthe age at 21. According to data, more countries choose to have lowerdrinking age than 21. To be precise, among 190 countries, 157countries set their minimum legal drinking age at under 19 while only12 countries, including the US, set their number at over 21. Theincreased 3 years in the US did not reach its goal intended. Thosecountries with 18 as their drinking age have close or betterstatistics comparing to the US. European countries’ rateof alcohol-related traffic accidents and fatalities,for instance, decreased more than the US did (Yellin, 2016, Para. 4).

Otherfacts that prove the ineffectiveness and disadvantages of MLDA 21were found. Some people believe that the minimum legal drinking Age21 reduces accidents. Here are their proofs: according to datacollected and analyzed soon after the law came into effect, in 1987,a conclusion by The&nbspUnited&nbspStates&nbspGeneral&nbspAccounting&nbspOfficewas drawn that raising minimum drinking age had directly reduced thenumber of alcohol-related&nbsptraffic&nbspaccidents&nbspamong&nbspyoungadults who were influenced by the law. But, it was found that theirproofs are not comprehensive and there are negative effects of theMLDA 21. The purpose of enforcement of MLDA 21 is to reduce thecrashes caused by drunk driving and protect young people’s brain(Madd, 2015). At this point, it is found that the law failed to reachthe second goal. It did not succeed in stopping young adults or evenyoung men who were under 18 to drink by obtain alcohol from senioradults. Another negative effect was that the purpose of the law leftan impression that drinking is not strictly prohibited but the drunkdriving is to the young people. To some extent, the misunderstandingmight lead to even irresponsible drinking behaviors and consequencescaused among young people.

Toprevent these irresponsible behaviors from happening, it will bebetter to have the minimum legal drinking age lowered to 18 years dueto the advantages brought and the limitation of the higher age. Somesay, setting the minimum legal drinking age at 21 helps maintain asound legal system. But there are some loopholes, which are directlycaused by the irrationality of setting the drinking age at 21, foundwhen applying the present law. In the descriptions above, we havediscussed the inevitability of alcohol consumption among the grown-ups, thus, prohibiting newly legal adults from purchasing alcohol mayundermine the legal system because these who are prohibited will riskbreaking the law in order to consume alcohol and drink without beingsupervised. Lowering the drinking age leads the young men to acttheir drinking behaviors properly (Korszun, 2009). To purchasealcohol, young men have come up with the idea of using a falseidentification documents (Kleiman, 2008). This idea does extreme harmbecause it leads to violations of more kinds of laws. Fake IDs aremore often related to illegal immigrants, terrorism and other sortsof crimes, which are even less encouraged in this country(ProCon.ORG,2016). Drinkingis not supposed to be some sort of big deals. An easier and legalapproach for young men to have what they want can better stop themthinking out evil ideas.

Afterthat, the present law has poor enforcement. Many law enforcementagencies do not attach importance to the enforcement of underagedrinking. It is astonishing to notice that the percentage of youngpeople end up to be arrested after they drink under 21 was only 0.2(StudyMoose, 2015).That means the law merely has effectiveness and almost no punishmentis done to law breakers.The minimum legal drinking age has exceptions that allow youngerindividuals to take alcohol at home or under the supervision ofadults (Milleret al, 2007).It has been argued that the minimum legal drinking age promotes bingedrinking among the youths. Teenagers are more likely to binge drinkwhen allowed to drink at home. As a result of this law, underagebinge drinking is becoming a critical problem in the Americansociety. Although teenagers are not allowed to buy alcohol, they areable to find ways of obtaining alcohol. The resultant binge drinkingis associated with risky behaviors such as health risks, violence,car crushes and risky sexual behaviors (Milleret al, 2007).This suggests that the current law does not prevent teenage drinkingand therefore should be reviewed.

Theconstitutionality of the minimum legal drinking age of 21 years hasbeen challenged. Those opposed to the current law have argued that itviolates the civil liberties and individuals as provided by theconstitution. They have argued that it is absurd and unwarranted todeny an individual who can vote, join the military, enter intocontracts or start a family the right to buy alcohol in restaurants.The law recognizes 18 years old individual as an adult capable ofmaking sound decisions. Since 1933 when the alcohol prohibition lawwas repealed, states have been allowed to establish their own laws tocontrol alcohol abuse (Mironet al. 2007).Opponents of these laws have advocated for lowering the minimum legaldrinking age arguing that they are irrational.

Afterthe enactment of the “National Minimum Drinking Age Act in 1984,all states in the country were expected to adopt laws that prohibitedindividuals under the age of 21 years to purchase of drink alcoholpublicly. Before the enactment of the law, states had divergent lawson the minimum drinking age. Despite the uniform minimum drinking agein the country, states have different laws that allow alcoholconsumption among individuals aged below 21 years at home or underthe supervision of an adult (Congressional Digest, 2015). Thediscretion of the states in regulating drinking, especially inprivate resident among individual below 21 years was based on the21st amendment of the constitution (Congressional Digest, 2015). Theeffectiveness and rationale of the current minimum drinking age havebeen challenged leading to proposals to lower the minimum drinkingage to 18 years. Although there are several arguments against thecurrent law, the most important argument have been the inability ofthe law to significantly influence drinking behaviors and reducedrunk driving. Rather than reducing undesirable and irresponsibledrinking habits, the law has encouraged the youth to be creative incircumventing the law (Congressional Digest, 2015).


Ellis-Christensen,T. (2016). AtWhat Age is Someone Considered A Legal Adult in the US?

CongressionalDigest. (March 2015). MinimumDrinking Age.,M. (2008). OfAmethysts and fake ID’s.

Korszun,J. (2009). Lowerthe drinking age?

Madd.( 2015). Why21?.

Milleret al. (2007). Binge Drinking and Associated Health Risk BehaviorsAmong High School Students. Pediatrics. 119(1) 2007:76-85.

Miron,J. A. &amp Elina T. (2009). Does the Minimum Legal Drinking Age SaveLives? EconomicInquiry47(2): 317-36.

ProCon.ORG.(2016). Shouldthe Drinking Age Be Lowered from 21 to a Younger Age?

StudyMoose. (2015). LowerDrinking Age to 18.

Yellin,A. (2016). Loweringthe Minimum Legal Drinking Age to 18.