Teens and Minimum Legal Drinking Age (MLDA)

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Introduction For many years, underage drinking in America has been a very controversial topic. However, because of the many discrepancies that some US state representatives have added to the federal underage law, this subject will hardly be solved or going away, anytime soon. Proponents argue “The current underage drinking law of 21, has not stopped teen drinking, and has instead pushed underage binge drinking into private and less controlled environments, leading to more health and life-endangering behavior by teens” (ProCon, 2012, para. 2). Therefore, the minimum legal drinking age for teens should be lowered from 21, to 18. On the other hand, “Opponents of lowering the MLDA argue that teens have not yet reached an age where they can handle alcohol responsibly, and thus are more likely to harm or even kill themselves and others by drinking prior to 21” (ProCon, 2012, para. 3). Therefore, the MLDA should not be lowered to 18, but should instead remain at 21, because teens are not responsible and mature enough at 18 to handle the mental and physical effects of alcohol. Issue: Should the legal minimum drinking age (MLDA) for teens be lowered from 21, to 18, in the United States? To begin, it is very understandable as to why Proponents argue that teens should be allowed to legally drink at 18, instead of having to wait until 21. After all, at 18 teens are allowed to legally: (1) Join and serve in the military and take a chance on becoming maimed and/or killed; (2) Have sexual relationships with other consenting adults, 18 and over; (3) Purchase and smoke tobacco products, which can ultimately lead to heart and lung disease; (4) Marry without parental consent, which entails making life and family decisions with a spou... ... middle of paper ... ...// g/frequently_asked_questions/#exceptions Hall, J. (1998, February). Fact sheet: Lowering the minimum drinking age is a bad idea. Retrieved on March 25, 2012 from, (2011, October 24). National Institutes of Health (NIH). Retrieved from Underage drinking. (2011, March 11). National Institutes of Health (NIH). Retrieved on March 23, 2012 from, Zoroya, G. (2012, March 14). Army delays confidential alcohol counseling program. USA TODAY. Retrieved March 24, 2012 from, abuse-confidential-counseling/53517762/1
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