In the United States, eighteen years of age is considered a legal adult meaning you can enlist in the Amy, buy cigarettes, and vote just to name a few. According to the law, once you are eighteen years old, you are mature enough to make life alternating decisions; but not quite old enough to drink alcohol. A typical eighteen-year-old has at least one friend who is twenty-one. That two year age difference is hardly significant. The issue with the drinking law is it forces citizens in the same social group to abide by different laws.
The country would benefit from having the legal age changed to eighteen. The amount of under aged binge drinking would lessen. According to https://news.gallup.com/poll/8908/younger-males-drink-most-sometimes-too-much.aspx, 66% of women have had an alcoholic beverage by eighteen years of age, and 69% of men have had an alcoholic beverage by the age of 18. The idea of being rebellious and breaking the law, while still having fun and not harming others in the process is an appealing and exciting idea for many underage college students. While underage drinking is illegal, it also poses the potential of having a criminal record, making it impossible to work in certain careers. If the legal age was lowered to eighteen, there would be no peer pressure or temptation to commit a crime.
Binge drinking could be substantially lowered if the drinking age was lowered. This is because eighteen to twenty-year olds would then be able to experience moderate drinking in bars, restaurants, and other venues where there is supervision. Since under aged drinking is currently illegal under the law, eighteen – twenty-year-olds are now forced to drink in unsupervised venues where moderation is not taught and binge drinking is encouraged. In fact, having the drinking age set at the age of 21 has not stopped drinking among the eighteen to twenty-year old age group, but has rather encouraged the movement of drinking to such unsupervised places where dangerous drinking behaviors are more likely to take place.
Regardless of what the drinking age is, the eighteen to twenty year old age group is going to drink. Approximately 3 out of 4 high school seniors reported drinking alcohol at some previous point in their lives. So, if young adults are going to be drinking despite the law, the money used to enforce the law should then be used towards something more useful. Also, with the drinking age being lowered to eighteen, parents would feel responsible to introduce their children to alcohol in the controlled environment of the household beforehand, as a means of education and instruct them on how to use alcohol in moderation.
We are all aware of the drinking culture that takes place in this country. Particularly among college students, drinking has turned into a dangerous practice that is the result of the excitement of alcohol’s illegality for most college students and the fact that public officials and adults use drinking as a tool to punish and prevent a potentially enjoyable activity among an age group instead of encouraging the enjoyable and safe practice that drinking can be for them. Lowering the drinking age, as exhibited around the world, can show how drinking can bring young adults and adults together in a fun, safe way instead of creating a disparity among them.
If those young adults in the eighteen to twenty- year old range share the adult same responsibilities that other adults do, then having the right to choose to drink should be no exception. It’s time that alcohol use, especially by college students, becomes a safe practice in this country instead of one whose culture lies concealed from sight and forced to grow uncontrollably and treacherously. It’s time that eighteen, nineteen, and twenty-year olds finally be trusted as the adults we are considered in every other way.