The Legal Drinking Age Should Be 18

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The laws concerning the minimum drinking age in this country sometimes seem ridiculous and unnecessary. In this paper, I will discuss why certain laws are unfair and I will provide alternatives to certain problems concerning underage drinking and binge drinking. Let?s face it, no matter what laws the government enforces to cut down on underage drinking, it is commonplace and happens everywhere from grade school through high school and predominantly in college. The government is looking to stop teen drinking rather than manage it. According to Time Magazine, half the students age 10 to 24 questioned in a 1999 study by the Centers for Disease Control said they had consumed alcohol in the preceding month. If the minimum drinking age was reduced to 18, or at least made to be more convenient and logical, I believe a cut down on underage drinking would occur. In Pennsylvania, at the age of 16, anyone can get their driver's license after about 6 months of road time and studying rules and laws about driving. Next, at the age of 18, teens can smoke cigarettes until their lungs turn black, they can buy shotguns and handguns, and they can even be drafted into the military from the protection of their own homes. All of these privileges and responsibilities are opened on a teens 18th birthday, yet they can't sit down and have a few beers with friends and/or family. The fact that 18 year old men can be taken from the shelter of their own homes and forced to train for the military and go fight in a sometimes endless and merciless war, yet at the same time, cannot enjoy an ice cold beer simply baffles my mind. The minimum drinking ages overseas are lower than in the US and allow for certain things like drinks with a meal in a restaurant and sometimes the ages are even separated into lighter liquors, such as beer and wine, and a higher age for spirits. One of the most similar laws concerning the minimum age of drinking is that of South Korea. The minimum drinking age in South Korea is 21 or a college student. This law portrays that the South Korean government believes that if someone is responsible enough to go to college or any other secondary school, they are responsible enough to drink. The US has one of the highest and unforgiving minimum drinking age laws in the world. What makes the number 21 such a special age anyhow? Does th... ... middle of paper ... ...uct promotion, such as those with social responsibility messages ?may be scheduled in any network program whose audience is not composed primarily of children and teens.? This permits broadcasting such liquor commercials where 49 percent of the audience consists of minors. All of these things contribute to underage drinking and the marketing of alcoholic products to teens. If the minimum drinking age was reduced to 18, drinking would be brought out into the open and underage drinking would not be as much of a problem as it is today. The most logical alternative would be to use the ?social-norms? approach and inform all college students that drinking is not as prevalent as they believe. This approach would let students know that it is cool to drink responsibly and would reaffirm that they are in the majority of responsible drinkers. Works Cited Kluger, Jeffrey. How to manage teen drinking(the smart way). Time; New York; Jun 18, 2001 Lester, Will. Teen Alcohol Use is Still Rampant Despite Nationwide Drinking Age. St. Louis Post-Dispatch; St Louis, MO. Jul 6, 2001. Califano Jr, Joseph A. NBC?s Drinking Problem. The Washington Post, Washington, DC; Dec 18, 2001
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