Drinking Age

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Drinking Age When teen-agers turn 18, they are told that they are adults and are sent into the world. They go to college, get a job, marry or join the military. They do grown-up things like vote, pay taxes and become parents. But they can't go to the pub for a beer because when it comes to liquor, they are still just kids. Where's the fairness in the 21-and-older drinking law? First, it is necessary to question this law. Why is 21 the "magical" age that makes one intelligent and mature enough to consume alcohol? Surely, some adults abuse alcohol and some teenagers would be perfectly able to drink responsibly. This seemingly arbitrary number is associated with adulthood, as if the day a person turns 21 they know everything and are mature. Consider that the drinking age at one time was 18 in some states. Many parents of today's teenagers were legally allowed to drink at 18. Today's youth faces even more responsibility and are treated more like adults than their parents were. "If we can still be trusted enough to fight in wars, if we can be trusted enough to vote for our leaders, if we can be trusted enough to have sex, then why the hell can't we be trusted with a glass of wine" (Dogan 1). For these reasons, it would seem that the drinking age is out of date. Today's legal drinking age is also unrealistic. Prohibiting the sale of liquor to young adults creates an atmosphere where binge drinking and alcohol abuse have become a problem. Banning drinking for young people makes it a badge of adulthood, a tantalizing forbidden fruit. The thrill for drinking is in the chase of getting it. They are not allowed to have it, thus attaining it makes it all the more enticing. "College students are adults that are living a... ... middle of paper ... ...d to share some common characteristics. Alcohol is neither seen as a poison nor a magic potent. There is little or no social pressure to drink, irresponsible behavior is never tolerated, young people learn at home from their parents and from other adults how to handle alcohol in a responsible manner, and there is a societal consensus on what constitutes responsible drinking. Therefore, given that the twenty-one year old drinking age law has proven ineffective, and is counterproductive, it behooves us as a nation to change our current prohibition law and to teach responsible drinking techniques for those who choose to consume alcoholic beverages. Bibliography: Source Dogan, Shamed. "Connecticut should rethink its drinking laws." 14 Feb 1997. The Yale Daily News, p. 1-2. http://www.high-ground.com/oped/drinkingage.htm (20 April 2000).

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