campus in search of alcohol or frat parties, leading them to return under the influence, a dangerous venture. While some people argue that those under 21 years of age should not drink at all and others believe that 21 years are too many to wait to have a beer, everyone can agree that there is a very serious issue with underage drinking in the United States. Something has to be done to either enforce the existing laws or to experiment with a new system. Too many lives are lost each year of minors who seek fun through the influence of alcohol.
Montgomery 5 Let Adults Be Adults In order to curb the problem of underage drinking in the United States, people argue that the minimum legal drinking age of 21 needs to be enforced. Others point out that trends in European countries provide evidence that a lower drinking age can lead teens to drink responsibly. These trends suggest that eighteen year olds in the United States should be allowed to drink after being educated about alcohol in order to encourage responsible drinking habits in young adults. In the United States, the 18th birthday comes with a lot of privileges; the right to vote, enlist in the military, serve on a jury, get married, visit strip clubs, buy tobacco, get tattooed, adopt a child, gamble, carry a weapon, and even get a bartending license. Eighteen year olds are legal adults in America. They are expected to make adult decisions, yet they cannot drink adult beverages (even champagne at their own wedding). Drinking and purchasing alcohol should be a right that comes with adulthood. When underage teens do drink, they drink in excess. Lowering the legal drinking age and teaching teens how to drink responsibly would lead teens to drink in moderation. Author of Alcohol Education: What We Must Do , Roderic B. Park, proposed an idea for a “learner permit” for underage drinkers. He pointed out that the age of 21 is random and “There is no educational requirement before [people] can legally purchase, such as knowledge of legal limitations and liabilities, the facts of intoxication, or the role of intoxication in the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, There is no reason to assume that people suddenly and magically become mature or wise or thoughtful at any arbitrary age” (105). What Park then suggested, was that teens should be able to apply for a learning permit for alcohol. This permit would allow them to purchase a limited amount of alcohol and would only be available after these young people pass
Montgomery 6 an education course; much like a driving permit. Even if a “learning permit” for alcohol isn’t a considerable option in the U.S., education courses on the subject should be required in public schools and before a citizen is allowed purchase alcohol.
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- Winter '12
- drinking age, Drinking culture, Legal drinking age