People consume alcohol for various reasons; celebration, peer pressure, boredom, anxiety, sadness, insomnia ad rebellion among others. Young youths are also people and they too pass through the said experiences that lead people to the consumption of alcohol. The legal drinking age in the United States is 21 years but despite this irresponsible drinking is still a prevalent issue in the society. For example, lots of American throw massive graduation parties after high school and get drunk every year. American legal drinking age should be abolished. This paper is based on the justification and the reasons why America should not have a legal drinking age (Carter 45). In the recent times, there have been various organizations that conspicuously hold a discussion on reducing the legal drinking age to 18 years. However, this is not the solution and a solution to abolish it completely would seem the most workable to me. In America, one is considered to become an adult legally once they reach 18 years of age. As a result, one gets the rights to join the military, vote, sign legal contracts, get a marriage permit and a lot more other rights apart from buying and consuming alcohol. A lot of people base this as their main justification for reducing the drinking age in America.
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Personal opinion about drinking age in America
However, I think that America should not have a drinking age. Young adults should be allowed to drink but under supervision in their social gatherings, pubs, taverns and official university or school gathering. One way of collecting abusive drinking and developing responsible drinking is through role modeling as well as educational programs in some of these events and not by setting a legal drinking age. The law that imposes the legal drinking age is aimed at protecting the society but instead it appears as a way of segregating the youth (Kiesbye 77). Among the mentioned drivers to the consumption of alcohol, there are very few teens that drink alcohol as a result of peer pressure or for enjoyment. The major motive behind the consumption of alcohol by these kids is to break the law. It has been proved through a series of research that about 87% of seniors in the high schools have consumed alcohol at a point during their school life. This implies that majority of teens under the age of 18 years have consumed alcohol before. It is common sense that teens get drunk just to get the feeling of what it feels to be on the wrong side of the law, breaking the law. Teens consider a rebel life and the act of breaking the law an integral part in their student life and they boost of it when they have achieved. It is the consequences of breaking the law that enable them to undergo a transformation. Nevertheless, it would not be our wish that they experiment alcohol and get the consequences for them to learn the lesson based on the fact teens can get fatal at times. Numerous incidences have been witnessed of teens who got drunk and end up killing themselves and others in car accidents and this would not be our wish and hence the need to revisit the legal drinking age to ensure that the process of learning of alcohol is gradual (Kiesbye 167).
Currently, it is illegal for all people who have not attained the age of 21 in America to consume alcohol
Majority of people agree with this legal restriction and can even promote its being raised. Nevertheless, legal drinking age at times creates greater harms than it prevents. In this regard, this law should be questioned. Has the law achieved what it was intended to achieve? We know that there are people who start drinking at this age and end up as irresponsible drinkers who do not even hope to ever drinking responsibly in the future. It is also a fact to state there are people who can drink in a more responsible manner though they are below the legal drinking age. In short, imposing the legal drinking age is not the way to eliminate irresponsible drinking in the society. in the past, the legal drinking age used to be 18 years in a number of states before it was raised to 21 years of age. In fact, most of the American adults started drinking legally at the age of 18 years and there those people who are still responsible drinkers though the kind of responsibility that these people faced in the past are not the same in today. Children in today's generation mature very fast and are treated as grown-ups at a very young age. Furthermore, once these children reach the age of eighteen, much is entrusted unto them based on the fact that they are now treated as adults. At this age these young adults can risk their lives in the military, drive cars, become pilots or captains, marry, vote, take loans and as a result fixing a legal drinking age for these would deny them even tasting glass of wine during their wedding or on an a informal gathering related to work issues. To me this does not make sense and indeed the legal drinking age should be stripped off completely (Kiesbye 67). Legality of drinking should not be determined by age but rather it should be determined by maturity and the ability of an individual to handle it in a more responsible manner. Maturity, age, and the personal mindset are very important qualities in each and every individual but the amazing thing is that they are unique for all persons.
There is no specific age when one becomes of age to handle alcohol
As mentioned earlier, this will only bring out the protesting nature even in the teens who would have never opted to drink if the decision was left solely on them. Parents and teachers can be able to judge the maturity of the young adults in a more accurate manner and as a result, the issue of whether their children are ready for the consumption of alcohol should be left on them to decide. What the government may do is to promote the peer education on the negative effects of drinking alcohol and also embark on other methods of reducing the consumption of alcohol. After all, the main goal is to reduce alcohol consumption and therefore, selecting the best is what is necessary and not insisting on limiting the age of legal drinking even if it does not work (The Editor 19). The prohibition of sale and consumption of alcohol to the young youths creates an atmosphere filled with alcohol abuse and overindulging drinking. Restricting the consumption of alcohol to the youths makes it a tormenting forbidden fruit and out of the curiosity and the urge created, these people end up drinking. Teenagers tend to think that consumption of alcohol is a glamorous thing based on the fact that it is considered to be an adult affair and liking to associate themselves with adults, these kids end up indulging in the drinking habits of this liquor. As a result, the number of teenagers who are drinking has gone very high and in such cases, when these people attain the legal drinking age, they are usually drunkards and following the excitement, the likelihood of becoming irresponsible drinkers is very high. The teenagers turn into crude methods of accessing alcohol that includes; sneaking alcohol from their parents liquor storage, faking personal ID to buy liquor or using legal drinkers to purchase alcohol for them (The Editor, 1993). In addition, whenever a drinking opportunity arises, the tendency to make up for lost time arises resulting to binge drinking.
The legal drinking age should be done away with completely. Most of the problems being faced in the community about drinking can be solved through educating people on drinking safely and not by restrictions. American teenagers as a result of the legal drinking age do not learn how to drink in a gradual, safe and moderated manner. If this law is eliminated, the process of learning to drink would be gradual and well-informed (Benson 86). This would cultivate in the young people that drinking should be taken as an pleasant social activity rather an activity they have to sneak or hide around when engaging in. if these young people are not informed of the impacts of alcohol due to the limitations of its legal access in the limelight, they will be at a greater danger when they consume this behind the everyone's back because none but them will know that they did. In this regard, doing away with the legal drinking age will assist in a very big way in the elimination of some of these challenges (The Editor 93). It is true that the current legal drinking age plays a role in reducing the consumption of alcohol among the youth because it limits the number accessing it on the shops and bars based on the fact that it is hard to acquire it. It also saves the lives of many because the youths are the ones liable of excess drinking and end up causing accidents as well as developing body complications. However, I still believe that this will not eliminate the drinking of alcohol by the youth to a very big excess for the stated reasons. Furthermore, the underlying issues explaining the reasons why people drink more and more are not addressed in the right manner in this kind of policy. One of the methods that had been proposed earlier such as the education on responsible drinking may play a big role in ensuring that the young people drinking habits are kept at a modulated rate (The Editor 76). The people advocating for the for the higher legal drinking has their major cause of worry as the irresponsibility while driving while one is under the influence of alcohol. As a result, these people blame the inability and irresponsibility for the misfortunes and not age and as a result, they are not certain that accidents happen only when the young youths are involved. As a result the under-age drinking law is based on three basic assumptions (Benson 156). One is that a misfortune will occur if a person is under have consumed alcohol and the worst case scenario will be the one involving a youth. Of course this is not justifiable in any way. The next assumption is that there will be an occurrence of a bad thing in case irresponsibility is noted in a case though this might be true, it is not an enough justification. The last option is that the youths who engage in the type of mistakes mentioned will suffer from irrefutable consequences destroying their lives. In regard to this, all I can say is that it is far much better to mess in an environment that is monitored with protective measures than messing in a situation that you are the only person responsible of the consequences (Soifer 124).
From the various statistics in the United States, the problems of alcoholism and irresponsible drinking are still prevalent in the society and as a result there is need to change the strategy that the government is using to limit this kind of behavior. The current laws of prohibition and particularly the legal drinking law are not applicable any longer. In this case, alternative approach based on the experience from other regions and cultures who have overcome these problems need to be implemented. In the cultures of the Chinese, Greek, Italians, and the Jews, cases of drinking problems are very minimal and this is as a result of a characteristic that they all share. American legal drinking age should be abolished, and by doing this, the number of reckless teens abusing alcohol would go down drastically. It is worth trying this to see whether it will bring an impact that in the American society that its presence never brought. Changes are good and this particular has been tried elsewhere and worked and as a result, it has very great potential of transforming the American society (Benson 56).