Lowering the Legal Minimum Drinking Age

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The issue of underage drinking has become a major problem, especially on college campuses. But, underage drinking is not purely the root of all accidents related to alcohol. The real problem lies within the unsafe underage drinking habits amongst youth. There are ways that these alcohol-related accidents can be avoided. Several organizations have been created that are targeting a change in the legal drinking age laws. One key way to lower the risk of unsafe drinking is to lower the minimum legal drinking age from twenty-one to eighteen. The minimum legal drinking age was not always twenty-one; it has fluctuated between twenty-one and eighteen over the past few decades. In the article, “Underage Drinking and the Drinking Age” by Carla T. Main, the issues of voting age during the Vietnam War are discussed. Furthermore, she speaks about how the change of the legal voting age is linked to the change of the minimum legal drinking age. During the Vietnam War, lowering the voting age to eighteen became an issue. Many felt as though they should be trusted to vote if they were trusted to fight for their country (Main 35). Along with this issue came the issue of lowering the minimum legal drinking age as well. Americans began to realize that as eighteen year olds, citizens were given many rights, and those should include voting and drinking. At eighteen, rights include serving the United State military, the ability to get married, and being able to legal sign contracts on your own. After much attention, the voting age was changed (Main 35). In the article, “The Drinking Game”, Marshall Poe discusses the change of the voting age during the Vietnam War. “The needed three-fourths of the states approved the 26th amendment in under five month... ... middle of paper ... ...irms that the AlcoholEdu program is yielding promising results [. ] students who completed the program had a 50% reduction in negative academic and personal consequences related to drinking” (Gilroy 53). The AlcoholEdu program, and programs similar to them, can significantly improve the occurrence of unsafe underage drinking on college campuses. In all, lowering the minimum legal drink age would have positive effects on alcohol-related incidents, especially amongst college students. The risks that unsafe drinking creates can and should be avoided by any means possible. As many college campus officials have already begun taking steps toward making a change, it is crucial that everyone takes part in the movement as well. The relationship that teenagers have with unsafe drinking can be avoided if the proper changes are made to the drinking laws in the United States.

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