In the United States, the Minimum Legal Drinking Age (MLDA), is 21 years old. The thought behind this law is to protect the developing minds of young people, however, I believe it does the opposite.
The current MLDA makes it difficult for young adults to get alcohol; therefore when they have the rare opportunity to get their hands on some, they go all out. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people aged 12 to 20 years drink 11% of all alcohol consumed in the United States. This generally occurs in the form of binge drinking, the consumption of an excessive amount of alcohol in a short period of time. Binge drinking is very dangerous and can lead to alcoholism, damaged liver, and alcohol poisoning. More than 90% of alcohol consumed by minors is in the form of binge drinking. It’s reasonable to assume making alcohol more accessible will decrease the need for minors to consume large quantities all at once.
In addition to the health benefits, lowering the drinking age will allow adults to supervise parties comprised of mostly minors. This does not happen now because illegal activities take place and if there was an adult, they would be held responsible. Before 1984 (when the drinking age was only 18), sororities and fraternities had people hired by the school to supervise their parties and regulate the drinking. This not only limits the amount of binge drinking that goes on during parties, but also makes them safe because of the sober supervisor able to monitor the activities.
Lastly, if you are allowed to risk your life to fight for your country, and take a bullet for your country, you should be allowed to enjoy a cold brew every once in awhile. Also, if you are able to make a decision as to who should lead the United States of America, you should be able to buy a six-pack from your local liquor store.
In conclusion, the MLDA should be changed to 18 because it provides many health and security benefits along with increasing personal safety at public events.
A study by Eurocare’s Institute of Alcohol Studies showed that in Britain, 52 percent of convicted drunk drivers are under age 33. But the highest rate of alcohol-related accidents occurs among men age 20 to 24, with a lower rate for drivers younger than that. In Germany, the pattern is the same: Drivers from 21 to 24 have a higher rate of alcohol-related accidents than drivers from 18 to 20, according to the German Center on Addiction Problems.
IMAGE COURTESY OF FLICKR