Underage Drinking In America:

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It’s Monday night at about 11:30, but I’m doing something different tonight that I haven’t done on a Monday night in a while; I’m staying sober. Yes, I am underage (19 years and 6 months to be exact) and it won’t be until my Junior year of college before I can take my first legal drink in the United States. But I am not the only one who drinks while under the legal age limit; there is an estimated 63% of underage college students that get drunk on a minimum basis of one night a week (Foster, 1996). In Mexico I can be drunk any night of the week because of the 18 year old age limit on alcohol; so if I were in Mexico right now drinking, I would be drinking legally. Europe as well has very low or no drinking age laws at all. In Germany all you have to do is reach up to the counter and order a beer. In fact, mothers give their infants a substance called maltzbeir, which has several important proteins and carbohydrates essential to healthy growing (Dane, 1997). All this from the country that has no speed limit on it busiest highway and doesn’t have a problem with drunk driving. France as well has a custom of giving its youth wine to drink instead of water. They do this because the waterways of France, especially Paris, are so filthy and contaminated, it is not prohibited to drink from there, or even bathe in it. For France’s sake, the drinking is more than just a social allowance; it is a survival one too. The one difference between the aforementioned countries and the United States is the United States is the only one in the world with a problem with underage drinking. We are the only country that has to ID everyone who looks under 40 at the door or at the register. We are the only country in the world where we set up organizations to stop people from drinking instead of teaching everyone how to do it in moderation. When American teens go out and drink, they don’t drink because it tastes good (that’s not why I drink), they do for two totally separate reasons. One reason is the buzz received off of alcohol: the feeling of surrealism around oneself and the bloated self-confidence. As people who drink for the very first time at an older age such as 16, 17, and 18 year old, they get entranced with that drunken feeling because it helps them escape the do’s and don’ts of their lives. Teens in America are so fed up with life sometimes that they need to drown their ... ... middle of paper ... ...just minor in possession or consumption ticket. All great stories to tell, good times, and no regrets, and that is what we as a generation are all about. Some may call this ideology naive and short sighted, something to hold against this ‘Generation X.’ Our government and individual legislators will forever use this story to exert power in their favor, much like out parents. It is lack of knowledge on their part that keeps us down and restricted. As for my generation of young people, those who drink as well as those who don’t, I have this to say in conclusion. Don’t hold the young back from what they could accomplish. Don’t limit them from living as long as they are not endangering others. Support the drunk driving laws by letting your children know that it’s okay if they get drunk, just don’t drive home. Or better yet, stay home, crack open a beer, and watch the game. Don’t destroy the youth of America trying to protect it. Let them learn early that if you drink too much you can fall off your tricycle. Let’s finally learn something useful from Europe and make the 21st Century something we can all hoist a glass of ale too and say “this is to better days past, and more on the way.”
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