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The Law About Drinking Alcohol

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In the United States, it is illegal for anyone under the age of twenty-one to consume alcohol. Strict laws are enforced in order to restrict any individual under twenty-one from having access to these toxins. Serving time in jail and fines are a way that law enforcement punishes those who go against the law. Despite these barriers, many teens still manage to get access to alcohol. This raises an important question: should the legal drinking age be lowered, or should it remain the same? “Why the drinking age should be lowered: An opinion based upon research” by Ruth C. Engs, a professor at the Indiana University, expresses claims on the controversial issue by providing reasoning through ethos, pathos, and logos. (still working on a thesis). Engs’s demonstrates ethos strongly throughout her article with the use of credentials as a personal introduction. She mentions her profession in Applied Health Sciences at Indiana University. Through credentials, Engs uses her career to show her professionalism which proves she is a trustworthy individual.

The overall audience will be willing to place more trust in people who hold respectful or prestigious careers such as doctors, professors, scientists, and researchers. Her credentials enable her to state opinions and facts on the drinking age issue with less likelihood of being questioned. Her views regarding the lowering of the drinking age are more likely to be accepted because of her level of education and duty to educate others. Pathos is clearly shown throughout the article as well by Engs’ comparing underage drinkers in America to those in other countries in Europe and Asia because, in most European and Asian countries, the legal drinking age is eighteen or under. Engs states how the countries in these various continents do not view alcohol as a “drug” in the way the United States does. Engs explains how the teens in these countries are not faced with the same peer pressure to underage drink as the teens in America are.

The teens in European and Asian countries are taught at a young age to respect themselves with alcohol and to never abuse it. Eng states, “Because the 21-year-old drinking age law is not working, and is counterproductive, it behooves us as a nation to change our current prohibition law and to teach responsible drinking techniques for those who chose to consume alcoholic beverages.” Engs chooses to target the audience by tapping into their own emotions and standings on the legal drinking age. Engs’ develops logos in her article by presenting the audience with statistics on underage drinking that strongly supports her claim. The flaws of the current drinking laws are easily seen throughout university students. Engs states, “Those under the age of 21 are more likely to be heavy — sometimes called "binge" — drinkers (consuming over 5 drinks at least once a week).

For example, 22% of all students under 21 compared to 18% over 21 years of age are heavy drinkers. Among drinkers only, 32% of underage compared to 24% of legal age are heavy drinkers.” With the author stating statistics, it helps her cause much further, allowing her to persuade an audience more easily. Therefore, the readers are more willing to understand and believe what the are being told. The United States’ drinking laws are clearly flawed and this is seen throughout our high school and university students. The question we must ask ourselves is; should the drinking age be lowered to 18? Ruth C. Engs discusses this issue with further research she has done and makes the claims in her article with appeals to ethos, pathos, and logos.

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