Underage drinking is wide spread through out the United States.
According to Klaidman, of 10 million people under the age 21 who admitted they'd
had a cocktail in the last month, 4.4 million said that they are "binge
drinkers," or people who have had more than four drinks in a row. Also, alcohol
use among 12 to 17 year olds has risen .9% over the past three years (137).
Lack of entertainment on college campuses and easy availability of alcohol can
lead to underage drinking as well. Here at UWEC, it is easy to find a party
where alcohol is provided to underage drinkers. There is also not much else to
do in Eau Claire, unless one has access to a motor vehicle. "For 20 year-old
Iowa State junior Scott Christy, acquiring alcohol is not a problem. All he has
to do is contact a friend... and within half an hour he can have the drink of
his choice" (Frerking). Because underage drinking is such a problem in today's
society, measures must be taken to reduce the problem.
One solution to the problem of underage drinking is to lower the
drinking age from 21 years down to 18 or 19 years. At first glance, this seems
like a good idea because a large portion of underage drinkers, mainly college
students, would now no longer be underage and would be able to drink legally.
Problem solved, or is it? According to Reginald Smart, in 1971 the Canadian
province of Ontario lowered its drinking age from 21 years to 18 years, thinking
this would help alleviate its underage drinking problem. At first, the new age
law seemed to be working. Soon, bar owners complained because the young
drinkers scared off the above 21 crowd, just took up space, and did not drink
as much as the above 21 crowd. People in Ontario also started to notice more
accidents involving alcohol and more public displays of drunkenness by young
people. School officials also were distressed by the fact that students were
allowed to drink at lunch, and then returned to class too intoxicated to take
part in the learning process. Also, school functions, such as dances and
sporting events became occasions to drink. It seemed the only people still
supporting the new age law were the young people who gained the privilege of
drinking from the new age law. Finally, in 1978 the drinking age was raised
... middle of paper ...
...ted Press. "Assembly Passes Bill to Fight Underage Drinking." Untitled:
7 pars. On-line.
Internet. Available http://www.smartline.com/ap/ap621101.html
Collegian Editorial Board. "Current Drinking Laws Need to be Re-evaluated."
Collegian Opinion: 12 pars. On-line. Internet. Available
Klaidman, Daniel. "Here's the Straight Dope." Newsweek 21 October 1996:37.
Fisher, Renee. "New Bill Tightens Limit on underage Drinking." Untitled: 12
pars. On-line. Internet. Available http://www.spub.ksu.edu...0-
Frerking, Tim. "Underage Drinking is Up." Untitled: 13pars. On-line. Internet.
Rhoades, Rebecca. "Tougher Laws Created for Underage Drinkers." Lode: 10 pars.
On-line. Internet. Available
Smart, Reginald G. The New Drinkers. Toronto, Canada: Addiction Research
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