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The Drinking Age Essay, Research Paper

Underage drinking has always been a major problem in society. The immaturity of teenagers contributes to their inability in understanding the dangerous effects that drinking has on their families and themselves. All they think about is how much fun they will have on Friday nights, bingeing beer. They don t think about what could happen while they re too drunk to know what they are doing, or the police coming to break up the party, handing out MIP s, or what could happen as they drive home from the party. That is why the legal drinking age should stay where it is. At the age of 21, young adults should be smart enough and mature enough to know what is right from wrong. They have more common sense and have a better understanding of what the consequences could result in, meaning they should be intelligent enough to avoid hazardous situations. Reasons as to why the legal drinking age is fine the way it is are the consequences of underage drinking, why 21 year olds are more mature, and statistics found after the raise in the drinking age.

The consequences of underage drinking are extreme. Teenagers go to a party without any thought of what could possibly happen while they are there or afterwards. The chances of the police showing up and breaking up the party are high. MIP s (Minor In Possession) could be handed out to all the partygoers, ruining their night, not to mention they re parents who have to come and pick up their intoxicated teenager.

Another consequence of underage drinking is what a teenager is capable of when they have too much to drink. They could get into fights which could result in serious injuries to others, or even deaths. Premarital sex is another possibility that could result in the girl turning the guy in for rape or could lead to a pregnancy. Drunk driving is another danger that may result in critical injuries or death to the driver, passengers, or others on the road, or could even lead to the death of all of them.

Young adults at the age of 21 act more mature because they have many positive things going for them. Many 21-year-old college students who attend a four-year college are close to graduating and receiving their degree, preparing them for what they hope to accomplish after their college years. If they attended a two-year college after high school, they would have already been graduated and ready to further their education or they would prepare themselves to start a new job that consisted of their major. For those planning to start a career after high school, they would have a good three years of experience to get into the job they desire, starting it off with good work ethics and resulting in probable promotions for their experience. For others who joined a branch of the military after high school, they would also have a good three years experience, which would make it possible to continue in the military if they chose to or to continue with a college education.

A person can look at this issue at a health and safety standpoint. According to scientists and professionals, by lowering the drinking age to 18, car crashes increased among youths, but when the age was raised to 21, these percentages decreased. When the drinking age was raised to 21, studies found that single vehicle crashes decreased by 13% among 18 to 20-year-olds. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that by raising the drinking age, lives lost decreased by 1,000 per year in car crashes alone. One study also found that vandalism was down 16% while another study found a significant decrease in suicides, pedestrian injuries and other unintentional injuries connected with higher drinking ages. Overall, it appears that raising the legal drinking age resulted in reductions in youth alcohol consumption.

Some people would argue that the age of 18 should be the legal drinking age. Eighteen-year-olds are old enough to enlist into the military and work for their country and maybe even give their lives if there ever is a war. Eighteen-year-olds are also given the right to vote. They can vote on the president, laws, and other issues. If they are able to take on these responsibilities, why can t the legal drinking age be lowered?

The legal drinking age of 21 should never be changed. Drinking is just a game to teenagers, who are ignorant of what they do to themselves and others in their situation. A majority of 21-year-olds on the other hand, have so much going for themselves with college and jobs, that they show a higher maturity level because they appear to be more focused on what they are capable of and what they hope to accomplish with their lives. By being more grown-up and aware of the issue, they can prevent many accidents that most teenagers may commit.


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