Should Legal Drinking Age Be Lowered to 15

Car accidents are the leading cause of death among people aged 15 to 20. Twenty-three percent of these drivers had consumed alcohol but were not over the legal limit. Any state that plans to lower the drinking age could lose up to 10 percent of its federal money for highways. Regardless of whether the legal drinking age is 18 or 21, we must recognize that many young adults and teens drink alcohol and even binge drink. Most importantly, we must recognize that proper education is important for young adults to make safe and wise choices about their own behaviour. As the debate over drinking age continues, we must continue to work hard to monitor and educate young adults about the dangers of alcohol abuse. “Our own law makes clear that the minimum drinking age has been raised `only under duress from a funding sanction imposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation.` In short, we passed this legislation not because it reflected our values, desires and customs as a state, but because we wanted extra money,” said N. Bob Pesall. A survey for the Center for Alcohol Policy found that 86 percent of Americans support the legal drinking age at 21. [54] Numerous state and national surveys from the 1970s (when states raised the legal drinking age) to the present have shown overwhelming public support for MLDA 21.

[30] [31] [32] A U.S. District Court ruled in December. 22, 1978 that MLDA 21 is “reasonably related to a state objective of reducing motor vehicle accidents” and that MLDA 21 resists constitutional challenge on three important legal issues: (1) alcohol consumption is not a constitutionally guaranteed “fundamental right,” (2) age is not inherently a criterion for “suspect” discrimination (as opposed to race or ethnic origin, for example), and (3) alcohol consumption age to avoid road accidents has a “rational basis” in the available scientific evidence. [29] Proponents say higher drinking age reduces alcohol-related accidents Many rights in the United States are granted to citizens 21 years of age or older. A person cannot legally buy a handgun, gamble at a casino (in most states), or adopt a child until age 21, rent a car at age 25 (for most businesses), or run for president until age 35. Alcohol consumption should be limited in the same way because of responsibility to oneself and others. [24] “These people stand out,” said Rep. David Floyd of Kentucky, who supports the state to lower the drinking age to 18, and believes the responsibility recruits take on with military service shows their ability to make mature decisions about alcohol. In addition, setting the legal drinking age at 18 can encourage alcohol consumption in safer environments. Many underage drinkers quickly consume larger amounts of alcohol before going out instead of drinking for an extended period of time.

If students could buy their own drinks, underage drinkers would be less likely to try to get older people to buy drinks from them. But by not buying their own drinks, they become more likely to have something added to the drink. [3] University alcohol consumption. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Retrieved from www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/special-populations-co-occurring-disorders/college-drinking March 15, 2016. 100 of 102 analyses (98%) of a meta-study on the legal drinking age and traffic accidents found a higher legal drinking age, which is associated with lower rates of road accidents. [19] In the 30 years since the introduction of MLDA 21, drunk driving deaths have decreased by one-third. [50] The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that MLDA 21 saved 31,417 lives between 1975 and 2016. [50] – At the moment, we are in an impossible position (on the university campus).

Why should we expect us to enforce a law that is ignored by 70% of students before they even enter university? McCardell, now president of Southern University in Sewanee, Tennessee, told CNN this week. This is clearly not the legal drinking age. Cultural factors, such as normalized alcohol consumption and how impaired driving is perceived, may be factors. Reports in the 1970s showing that teen car crashes were increasing in states where the MLDA had been lowered by 21 prompted Congress to pass the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984. Often, teens get their drinks from shady sources and consume drinks in dangerous environments. This new age limit would encourage alcohol consumption in more responsible settings, such as bars or restaurants, rather than on the street or in a stranger`s home. Floyd views his efforts to lower the drinking age in Kentucky as military law rather than a liquor law, and would oppose extending the law to non-military personnel. [6] Johnson, Brent. “The legislature wants to lower the drinking age to 18.” New Jersey On-Line LLC.

Retrieved from www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/02/lawmaker_wants_to_lower_nj_drinking_age_to_18.html March 17, 2016. April 3, 2008 – Is 21 a fiasco when it comes to drinking? “I support lowering the drinking age in South Dakota for several reasons, but it all comes down to respect. In South Dakota, when a person turns 18, they can make contracts, pay taxes, do business, get married, bear arms, and fight overseas to protect our national interests. It`s just disrespectful to tell the same person they can`t stand cold beer when they get home,” Pesall said. [9] “Dangers of Alcohol Use in Adolescents.” Federal Trade Commission. Retrieved www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0387-dangers-teen-drinking 16 March 2016. Maintaining the legal drinking age at 21 falsely implies compliance with the law. Since the alcohol age was raised in 1984, alcohol-related deaths in cars have declined significantly. About 5.4 million people aged 12 to 20 consumed heavy drinking in 2013. 18-year-olds typically enter a new phase of independence from their parents through university or staff and are more prone to excessive drinking, risky sexual activity and other irresponsible behaviour due to lack of maturity.