Last Updated on December 10, 2019 by Valarie Ward
Lowering the drinking age may be the desire of many students under the age of 21, but considering the negative effects of alcohol abuse, such an act would be unwise. With so many crimes committed under the influence (both intentional and unintentional), we have no reason to allow anyone younger than 21 to consume alcoholic beverages. Just because the law gives us a legal age doesn’t mean what you might think. We must go deeper and examine the facts regarding the legal drinking age.
Drinking Under 21 – The Facts
The drinking age was established as 21 after the end of Prohibition and was adopted by nearly the entire country. Though this has been the standard for many years, there was a time when the age was lowered to 18. It happened around the mid-70s as a result of the new voting age. The new rule was not the case nationwide, however, with a 29 state majority, most Americans as young as 18 were legally allowed to drink.
Things changed when in 1984 The National Minimum Drinking Age Act was passed. The new law enforced a standard drinking age of 21, with a state’s noncompliance resulting in a loss of highway funds. Under this act, no person under the age of 21 may purchase or publicly consume alcoholic drinks.
What You Might Not Know
Although we have firm laws preventing under-aged alcohol sales and possession, this does not inherently forbid drinking under the age of 21. Certain states can allow some exceptions, primarily involving religious occasions and at the consent of legal guardians. Even so, this is only permitted on private property, and may only be done at the hands of the parent or guardian responsible for the minor.
It would appear to be a no-brainer to prevent the drinking age from lowering. Fortunately, a vast majority, 74 percent, are against dropping the age to 18, which is close to the percentage in support of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act. Though it may be unclear as to the motives behind a desire for reducing the age (other than anxious teenagers who cannot wait) one thing is for certain: most people are on the same page as far as the legal drinking age.
What exactly are you doing to yourself when you abuse alcohol? You are consuming an amount your body is incapable of processing. This brings about a spike in your blood alcohol concentration. The results can be anything from limited control and judgment, inferior muscle coordination, to a coma or even death. And the biggest problem in under-age drinking is that younger people have not fully developed their judgment and restraint, and, therefore, are less capable of drinking in moderation.