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Alcohol Law: Raising The Minimum Use Age

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Alcohol drinkers do not often see the effects of alcohol until it forms into an addiction. In the Vietnam War, government officials lowered the drinking age when people raised the question of why they could die for their country at 18 but not drink alcohol. This change did not last long because people began to see an increase in the effects to people’s health and an increase in automobile accidents. Raising the drinking age can allow more time for younger people to realize the dangers of alcohol before consuming it. Science has proven that if younger people consume alcohol it affects their body and thinking processes. People that consume alcohol daily often do not see the consequences of alcohol consumption before it is too late. There are multiple consequences including diseases, the effects on children and parents, accidents, and other issues. Raising the drinking age to twenty-five will minimize the widespread effects on the body, the effects on adolescents, and the dangers of drinking while driving.

The first reason government officials should raise the drinking age from twenty-one to twenty-five is because of the widespread effects on the body. Alcohol affects the brain in several different ways. Impaired vision, memory, trouble walking, and slurred speech are examples of the effects of alcohol (NIAA). Affects in the brain cause the drinker to be unable to walk, speak, and see properly. Another effect is that alcohol can cause the growth of new brain cells. An increased amount of brain cells can form in the brain leaving the alcoholic at risk of disease. Government officials maintaining or even lowering the age to consume alcohol can have serious consequences to adolescents by presenting them the choice to drink alcohol at a young age. Along with the brain, alcohol greatly affects the cardiovascular system. Monico states, “In 2016, alcohol-related CV diseases caused an estimated 593,000 deaths globally. Consuming an excessive amount of alcohol is linked to high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, trouble pumping blood through the body, blood clots, stroke, cardiomyopathy, or heart attack”. High blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and stroke are only a few of the symptoms that can develop within the cardiovascular system after too much consumption of alcohol. These listed symptoms of the heart and brain are a number of examples of the effect alcohol has on the body. The cardiovascular system and brain are both greatly affected when consuming alcohol. If government officials could pass a law raising the minimum drinking age to twenty-five, the rates of drinkers receiving widespread body effects would decrease.

If government officials reduced the minimum drinking age to a lower age rather than raising it, adolescents would be more likely to drink alcohol at a young age and develop these widespread effects on the body. In “Calculating Lives Saved Due to Minimum Drinking Age Laws”, Kindleberger explains when states reduced the drinking ages:

Between 1970 and 1975, 29 States lowered their drinking ages to 18, 19, or 20. By 1983, safety concerns had led many of these States to reverse course. In 1984, the Uniform Drinking Age Act reduced Federal transportation funding to States not prohibiting alcohol “purchase and public possession” for those under age 21. All States eventually restored their legal ages for alcohol purchase and public possession to 21 years.

Less than fifty years ago, twenty-nine states lowered the drinking age law from 21 years to 18, 19, or 20. This law did not last long after accident rates on highways increased and alcohol’s widespread effects on adolescents’ bodies increased. Eventually, the states restored the law to be 21 years old to drink any form of alcohol. Since there have been fewer accidents since raising the drinking age to 21, the number could become even lower by increasing the minimum drinking age to 25.

The second reason government officials should raise the minimum age of which a person consumes alcohol is because of the effect alcohol has on adolescents. Kindleberger states, “Each year, the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA) of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) publishes an estimate of lives saved due to such bans, referred to more generically as “minimum legal drinking age” (MLDA) laws”. This quotation explains that the bans on alcohol have saved many young lives since the legal drinking age law is at twenty-one years old. There are those who argue about lowering the drinking age, but the results from the experience of previous lowered drinking ages do not substantiate this argument. If states lowered the drinking age to eighteen, adolescents would have the propensity to binge drink since adolescents do not make wise choices at a young age and there would be many detrimental effects.

Isaac Cooper states, “Over the last few years, researchers have shed light on the age that young adults reach physical maturity – and it’s not 18. It’s also not 21. A few studies on the effects of alcohol or drugs on teens and young adults showed that physical maturity, especially of the brain and nervous system, does not occur until a person reaches 25”. A person’s brain and nervous system does not fully develop until they are at least twenty-five years old. This means their maturity level is not fully developed at the age of 21 causing them to make poor drinking decisions because of the low minimum age law.

Along with destroying both the body and relationships, a third reason government officials should raise the minimum age on alcohol is because of the dangers from drinking while driving. There are many victims of alcohol-related automotive accidents including the drivers, the passengers, and those who are hit by the person driving under the influence. Each year families deal with the death of loved ones because of the effects of alcohol on people’s ability to drive. An anonymous author under the pseudonym Buddy T states, “Although traffic fatalities are lower than they were at the turn of the century, alcohol-related crashes kill about 10,000 people per year in the United States, with alcohol being a factor in one out of three motor vehicle deaths”. Every year, ten thousand people lose their lives because a drinker was behind the wheel while under the influence. The effects of alcohol alter a person’s driving skills, and the results of drinking while driving are life-changing. Juergens also states, “Alcohol’s sedative effects impair a driver’s decision-making skills and coordination. An impaired driver lacks the ability to quickly and decisively avoid an accident or even perform a routine during the driving”. An individual who is under the influence does not have the proper coordination skills to be driving on the road.

Again, the anonymous author under the pseudonym Buddy T states, “Underage drinkers are a danger to themselves and others, especially on the highways”. Underage drinker on the highway is extremely dangerous for both themselves and anyone else driving around them. Since alcohol alters a person’s driving skills, they are more prone to causing an accident when under the influence. Raising the minimum drinking age can help the roads become safer with fewer accidents.

Government officials raising the drinking age from twenty-one can save the effects on the body, the effects on adolescents, and the dangers of drinking while driving. A person should respect their body and should know how dangerous alcohol is before consuming it. Even twenty-one-year old’s do not know the consequences of it before it is too late. The argument of “why can people go into the military at 18 but not drink at 18” is not a valid argument for alcohol. The reason for that is because of the maturity level needed before consuming alcohol. Adolescents at the age of 18 are not mature enough to be consuming alcohol and raising the age higher than 21 would save many lives from the dangers of alcohol.

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Alcohol Law: Raising the Minimum Use Age. (2022, May 24). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 26, 2022, from
“Alcohol Law: Raising the Minimum Use Age.” GradesFixer, 24 May 2022,
Alcohol Law: Raising the Minimum Use Age. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 26 Jun. 2022].
Alcohol Law: Raising the Minimum Use Age [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 May 24 [cited 2022 Jun 26]. Available from:
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