The Drinking Age Should Not Be Lowered

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We knocked on the door of the off-campus apartment, as it opened we were confronted with the heavy stench of alcohol. A young girl was passed out on the living room floor, a pile of empty beer cans filled the kitchen sink, and the deafening music rattled the window panes. A group of girls managed to stumble past us. They waved goodbye to the host, who was handing drinks to me and my sister. It was not my first time drinking. In fact, everyone there was quite experienced – after all, it’s college. Half of the guests were completely drunk, and I had no problem with it. That is, until later that night when my sister locked herself in a room with a guy she had met only a week before. This prompted me to seriously consider the effects of alcohol. Would my sister have been able to see the danger of the situation had she been sober? Would the absence of alcohol have prevented the events of that night from occurring? These questions, along with the vivid memory of that night, fueled my examination of the complex social problem of underage drinking. In the 1960s, the drinking age was set as 21, to match the voting age. However, around the time of the Vietnam War, the public began to argue that if an 18-year-old was old enough to fight and die for his country, then he should be able to vote as well. As a result, the voting age was lowered to 18. Between 1970 and 1976, 29 states lowered their legal drinking age as well. In the words of Carla Main, author of Bulldozed and various other published works concerning law and society, the results were “catastrophic,” as “[h]ighway deaths among teenagers and young adults skyrocketed” (Main 33). Many states began raising the legal drinking age up again. In 1984, under the supervision of Ronald ... ... middle of paper ... ...hus, focus should be on better enforcing the law, rather than amending it. Works Cited DeJong, William. “Should the Drinking Age Be Lowered to 18? No.” American Teacher 93.3 (2008): 3. Wilson OmniFile Full Text Mega Edition. Web. 3 Mar. 2010. Main, Carla T. “Underage Drinking and the Drinking Age.” Policy Review. June/July 2009: 33-46. Wilson OmniFile Full Text Mega Edition. Web. 3 Mar. 2010. Martinez, Julia A., Miguel A. Munoz Garcia, and Kenneth J. Sher. “A New Minimum Legal Drinking Age (MLDA)? Some Findings to Inform the Debate.” Addictive Behaviors 34.4 (2009): 407-10. Wilson OmniFile Full Text Mega Edition. Web. 3 Mar. 2010. Muhlenfeld, Elisabeth. “Seeking a Drinking Age Debate.” University Business 11.10 (2008): 53-4. Academic Search Premier. Web. 3 Mar. 2010. “The 21 Club.” Economist 392.8645 (2009): 26. Academic Search Premier. Web. 3 Mar. 2010.

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