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Have you ever thought about how someone who is 18 years old can go to war and die for our country but yet they cannot even have a beer? There are a lot of risks involved with drinking alcohol but the risk of being injured or killed are a lot higher when you are in the military. Drinking has a lot of risks but so does war. It seems silly that they are not allowed to drink beer.
Next, most of all new military recruits are between the ages 18 years old to 20 years old. In 2008 alone, they had close to 700,000 18 to 20 year olds join. Just imagine how many have died trying to protect us but yet it is still illegal for them to drink a beer.
Basically, an 18 year old is considered an adult. They no longer have to live at home, a parent does not have to support them anymore, and they can basically do everything they could not do previously. The only thing is, they cannot go out and have a beer. Hard liquor should stay at age 21 mostly because of the higher alcohol content, but beer should be legal for purchase and consumption by 18 year olds. Mark Andersen explains it pretty well. “In the United States, at 18 you can join the Army, sign a contract, rent an apartment, get married, and undertake numerous other fun activities like pay bills. But the one thing you cannot do is have a beer. Now think about this for just a minute: you can join the Army, you can fight and possibly die for your country, but you are barred from legally having a beer. Yet the beer and spirits industry’s marketing is aimed at young men and women who likely cannot legally purchase their product” (Andersen). Most beer ads are targeting young adults to begin with. Even the young adults who are not legally allowed to drink yet.
The drinking laws in the United States seem very strict, but they are not. The penalties for getting caught drinking and driving are not hard or strict what so ever. Increasing the drinking age to 21 has not stopped people from drunk driving and killing people. There is always a way to get a hold of it, people under 21 rarely know how to limit how much they drink. That is bad, if we can lower it, young people can be properly taught what limit is the safe limit. Not that many young adults even know what happens if you get pulled over for a DUI or get caught for public intoxication. These statistics stated by Anderson make a valid point. Increasing the age made things worse instead of making things better. “Instead of teaching our children that drinking alcohol is no big deal, we make them wait until 21 to drink legally. If you tell someone that they cannot have something, it just makes it more enticing—even though most of them have already had a drink, most likely at a party in friend’s basement, a frat house, or if the military, in the barracks. Since the drinking age was raised to 21 nationwide, instead of seeing a decrease in the amount of binge drinking, we have actually seen an increase:
Furthermore, if you lower the drinking age to 18, enforce the proposed penalty above, and give them the information they should know about drinking, not as many people would risk drinking and driving, getting blackout drunk, or doing something extremely stupid. If you do not enforce strict penalties, people will still do it over and over again until they kill someone or themselves. If things like this were enforced, drinking and driving would not be such a big problem.
When the drinking age was increased to 21, it did not stop young adults from drinking, it did not lower the alcohol related deaths, and it did not lower the amount of DUI’s. Congress thought that if they increased the age to 21 it would decrease the amount of deaths. It did not. “This law has been an abysmal failure, it has not reduced or eliminated drinking. It has simply driven it underground, behind closed doors, into the most risky and least manageable of settings. Like basements, fraternity houses and locked dorm rooms, where kids go to hide from the law and from adults, including parents, who might teach them some moderation. The law has created a dangerous culture of irresponsible and reckless behavior, unsupervised binge and extreme drinking, like something called “Six in Ten” – downing six cups of beer in ten seconds, kids trying to perfect the art of getting drunk as fast as possible by playing drinking games.”(McCardell).
To conclude, with all these facts and statements, lowering the drinking age to 18 is a good idea. Kids would not have to hide from the law or their parents to drink. They can be educated and supervised rather than uneducated and unsupervised. At 18 you can do everything like buy a house, a car, get married, get divorced, they can even go die for this country, but they cannot have a beer. That needs to change. Increasing the drinking age to 21 has not helped, it has only driven the underage drinking underground where people cannot be supervised and checked on.
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