Pros And Cons Of Lowering The Legal Drinking Age

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A political problem that has been argued over since prohibition is the minimum legal drinking age (MLDA). This is a controversial subject because many believe that the legal drinking age should be lowered from 21 to 18 years old. “In the 1970’s the 26th amendment was passed which lowered the legal voting age, this caused 30 US states to lower their MLDA to 18, 19, or 20 which left 14 states with a MLDA of 21 by 1982” (Minimal Legal Drinking Age, 1). But reports later showed an increase in teenage car accidents in states with a lower MLDA; these states soon changed the MLDA back to 21. One of the biggest pros would be that the age of 18 is the age of adulthood. “This gives a person the right to vote, serve jury duties, sign contracts, smoke…show more content…
One of the most concerning cons is that alcohol consumption interferes with the development of the brains frontal lobes which controls emotional regulation, planning, and organization. Some potential risk factors are addiction, reduced decision-making ability, memory loss, depression, violence, and suicide (Minimal Legal Drinking Age,1). Lowering the MLDA allows public establishments to continue to sell alcohol to people, even if they are obviously intoxicated. “About half of drivers arrested for driving while intoxicated or killed as alcohol-involved drivers in traffic crashes did their drinking at license establishments.” (Minimal Legal Drinking Age, 1) which gives an increase chance of more crashes in heavily populated areas with bars, nightclubs, and other alcohol-selling locations. Studies have found that keeping the MLDA at 21 reduces traffic accidents and fatalities by 13%. (Minimal Legal Drinking Age, 1) Lowering the MLDA to 18 would increase the rate of binge drinking under the age of 18, if MLDA was lowered. (Minimal Legal Drinking Age, 2) Lowering the MLDA to 18 would also give middle schoolers and high schoolers easier access to alcohol. Many believe that 18 year olds are not responsible enough to handle alcohol consumption and is more susceptible to the influence of alcohol. (Pros and Cons of Lowering the Drinking Age,…show more content…
Engs,Professor at Indiana University has been studying the topic of lowering the legal drinking age for the past twenty years. He has found that “a majority of the college students under this age consume alcohol but in an irresponsible manner. This is because drinking by these youth is seen as an enticing “forbidden fruit” (Why the drinking age should be lowered,1). This is not the first time that this policy has been discussed. During the National Prohibition in the 1920s these laws made every state change their MLDA to 21 years old. But these laws were repealed because they were unenforceable and caused other social problems. Facts show that young adult underage are more likely to be “binge” drinkers. 32% of heavy drinkers were underage while only 24% were of legal age (Why the drinking age should be lowered, 1). Research from the 1980s reveal that there has been a decrease in drinking and drinking among students before the law that made every states MLDA 21 years old. But many other factors may have decreased this rate. “There has been an increase in other problems related to heavy and irresponsible drinking among college age youth. Most of these reported behaviors showed little change until after the 21 year old law in 1987. For example from 1982 until 1987 about 46% of students reported "vomiting after drinking." This jumped to over 50% after the law change. Significant increase were also found for other variables: "cutting class after drinking" jumped from 9%
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