Teenage years are some of the most important in a young adults life. It is also the time where they find what they are interested in and what they like. Young adults are given a sense of freedom during these years, but with freedom comes temptation. Many teens will go to parties during their high school years and many will be tempted to try alcohol. When teens try alcohol they do it in a way that is harmful to themselves, they binge drink. There are 245 annual teenage deaths from alcohol poisoning. Is lowering the drinking age the solution to that problem, or would it cause more deaths?
The legal age for consumption and buying alcohol in all of the United States is 21. But is this the right choice for the country? Many young adults, especially teens in highschool and college, are exposed to it and experiment with it. Even though they are well below the legal age which causes a major problem. But if we lower the minimum legal drinking age would that fix the problem of teen drinking or worsen it? According to an article by Professor Ruth C. Engs from Indiana University, the legal drinking age should be lowered 18 or 19 years old and teens should be allowed to drink in controlled environments. In situations such like drinking at restaurants and school functions, responsible drinking can be taught and educational programs can be encouraged. In the article she talks about how teens see drinking as an act of rebellion and “adulthood”. But if we took that away from them, there would be a lower chance of teen related drinking incidents.
A counter to the ideas of Professor Engs is an article written by the pen name Buddy T. In this article he talks about how in the Vietnam War era the country tried lowering the legal drinking age. But when we did this we just made more problems for ourselves. Teen traffic fatalities increased dramatically due to this new way of the law. From 1975 to 2003 there was a decrease in alcohol related traffic fatalities by 13 percent just by re-raising the drinking age. A strong argument can be made that lowering the legal drinking age puts more people at risk due to teens drinking and driving. The idea behind the laws that are in place today is that they are to save teens from hurting themselves and others.
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Is your teenager drinking? by Ozzie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.