Alcohol allowed?

Almost everyone has witnessed underage drinking either in person or through the media. Tons of parties happen every year across the country, and to see minors drinking is a common occurrence. No matter how much of an effort the nation puts into restricting this activity, it cannot be fully prevented. Why should we keep the legal age for the consumption of alcohol at 21 years old when the country’s 18 year olds can marry, vote or go to war? Once a teen turns 18, he or she should be able to share a glass of champagne at graduation or have a beer at dinner with other adults.

“I propose that the drinking age be lowered to about 18 or 19 and permit those of legal age to consume in socially controlled environment such as restaurants and official school and university functions,” says Dr. Ruth Engs of potsdam.edu   If the law was changed so that 18-year-olds could drink, they wouldn’t have to do it illegally in the darkest corners of society. Teenagers could have supervision when drinking to learn moderation and to be kept out of dangerous situations. A plethora of kids get intoxicated as fast as they can so they will have the alcohol in their system. Wouldn’t it make more sense to let kids drink when they reach adulthood so that they can learn to control their alcohol intake? If it weren’t so rebellious to consume alcohol, would as many people do it?

I think not. I believe that high school and young college students are so keen on drinking, at least partly, because of the adrenaline of breaking the rules. If teens are given the freedom to do things they already do behind closed doors, then not as many of them will do it. If they are allotted a place to safely consume alcohol, won’t enter social situations where they will put themselves and other people in danger. The current generation should be given the chance to prove themselves as worthy and responsible adults.

I understand the reasoning behind MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) and I sympathize with the families who have lost a loved one because of drunk drivers. That being said, however, I feel that I must make a thought provoking statement: If America allowed teens to drink three years earlier, their responsibility may be higher and the number of alcohol related incidents and casualties could be lower than today’s.

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