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Legal Drinking Age in the US: Lowering Debate Essay

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Updated: Aug 22nd, 2020

Degree (from strongest to weakest) Arguments “For” Arguments “Against”
1 Alcohol since 21-years-old is discriminating; The negative impact of alcohol on the growing body;
2 The point is not to ban the sale but to forbid the consumption; Alcohol provokes substance abuse;
3 Any restriction provokes illegal consumption; Decrease in underage suicides;
4 Forbidding something raises interest to this area; Decrease in crime rates;
5 Decrease in unsafe drinking activities; Decrease in teenage pregnancy;
6 Lowering the age will reduce the desire to break the law. Laws allow making healthier choices.

Lowering the legal drinking age in the USA, which implies that it will be allowed to sell alcoholic drinks to the people under 21 years old, has provoked extensive debates. It is worthy of noting that this idea has both a lot of opponents and supporters. Thus, it is crucial to study and analyze the accumulated experience of the USA on this issue in order to be able to understand the multiplicity of the opinions better.

There are various arguments for lowering the age, and they are different in nature and attitude towards the issue. One of the most important arguments that many people use is that alcohol consumption since 21-years-old is discriminating. In America, a person is considered an adult when he or she reaches the age of 18; however, he or she is granted the right to purchase or consume alcohol only at 21 (Dowdall, 2013). In other words, individuals must be mentally and physically prepared to make serious decisions about their lives, but they are not allowed to buy a bottle of alcohol according to the governmental regulation. This situation is contrary to the fundamental principles of the society and mentality; therefore, such an argument is strong indeed. Further, the point is not to ban selling but to forbid consuming alcohol if the person is underage (Kiesbye, 2012). If the underage person wants to drink something, he or she does not necessarily have to buy it in a store. Consequently, the responsibility should lie on the individual primarily rather than on someone who sells goods. Next, any restriction provokes illegal consumption of alcohol while forbidding something raises interest in this area (Phillips, 2014). Along with these arguments, it becomes evident that by lowering the drinking age the government will ensure the decrease in unsafe drinking activities people may take to get alcohol. In general, by allowing drinking before 21-years-old, the desire to break the law will diminish.

Nevertheless, there are several factors, which can prove that if the regulation remains the same, many problems can be avoided. For instance, the negative impact of alcohol on the growing body will be eliminated. It is a well-known fact that the excessive alcohol consumption harms the health of people and the welfare of the minors especially. Referring to the most crucial aspect of the people’s life, which is health, alcohol frequently provokes abusing other substances, which can drastically complicate the situation (Galizio & Maisto, 2013). It is worthy of noting that by preserving the current laws, the government will be able to decrease the number of underage suicides; the statistics state that underage people tend to commit the unwanted actions when being intoxicated. The same rule applies to the teenage pregnancy that often happens when young people drink alcohol and lose control of themselves. Thus, by lowering the age, the government will worsen the current tendencies (Watson, 2011). In general, the government will be able to reduce the number of criminal acts committed by young people under the effect of strong drinks, if it preserves the current laws (Solomon, 2012). Finally, the laws and restrictions allow making healthier choices, even though they are being imposed. Not all of the people are capable of decent reasoning, and the laws can direct them to lead a healthier lifestyle.

In conclusion, the issue discussed in this essay is indeed controversial. It is not easy to say whether the opposition or the supporters provide arguments that are more reasonable while every solution will have consequences both the negative and positive ones. Consequently, the government should consider all the possible arguments to make the correct decision regarding lowering the drinking age in the USA.

References

Dowdall, G. (2013). College drinking. Sterling, TX: Stylus Publishing.

Galizio, M., & Maisto, S. (2013). Determinants of substance abuse. New York, NY: Springer.

Kiesbye, S. (2012). Should the legal drinking age be lowered? Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press.

Phillips, R. (2014). Alcohol. Chapel Hill, NC: UNC Press Books.

Solomon, J. (2012). Alcoholism and clinical psychiatry. New York, NY: Springer.

Watson, S. (2011). Binge drinking. Edina, MN: ABDO.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Legal Drinking Age in the US: Lowering Debate." August 22, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/legal-drinking-age-in-the-us-lowering-debate/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Legal Drinking Age in the US: Lowering Debate'. 22 August.

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