Should the United States Drinking Age Remain at 21?

According to statistics, people wake up every day to swelling numbers of teenagers that have died due to drunken driving accidents. About 3,000 die from alcohol-related automobile accidents between the ages of 16-20 (Carpenter, Christopher, and Carlos 95). The rate is much higher in teenagers because they have little or no experience with alcohol and hence, stand a higher risk. The worry is that there is a lack of inhibition, as well as, the lousy judgment of driving while under the influence of alcohol. The teenagers are also aware of the fact that there are warnings about drinking and driving but continue to do so in hiding. It is evident that alcoholics below the age of 21 are at more risk because of lack of experience hence a point of concern.

People on the road, especially at night constantly worry about other drivers because of the increased incidents of underage drinking and drunk driving. (Cheng, Catalina, and James 33). The concern for all is to keep the roads safe and allowing people below the age of 21 to drink, will not help. There is a need to increase the perception of risks to reduce the quantity of drinking, as well as, frequency (Hingson, Wenxing and Aaron 177). If the society were to lower the legal drinking age, this would result in a higher prevalence rate. The acute effects of drinking alcohol from a young age will reduce by keeping the legal drinking age at 21. Age restriction will show the young people the risks they expose themselves to when drinking and educate the society about the many benefits of waiting until 21.

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If the minimum age in the United States goes down to 18, there will be greater availability of alcohol to persons even younger than 18 (Harding et al. 154). According to studies on the US demographic, reducing the legal drinking age to 18 will increase alcohol-related accidents even for persons as young as 15 (Hingson, Wenxing and Aaron 177). It is undeniable that the Minimum Legal drinking age (MLADA 21) laws have saved approximately 1,000 lives each year through reduced traffic accidents involving young drivers (Cheng, Catalina and James 33). According to medical research, excessive drinking by persons aged 20 and those that are younger may result in brain damage and also reduce brain function (Carpenter, Christopher, and Carlos 95). Additionally, research indicates that drinking before the age of 21 increases the risk of future alcohol abuse leading to crashes, assaults, addiction, and other alcohol-related problems. When the lives of so many young people are facing such threats, it is critical that the government steps in to protect the lives of the public.

To sum it up, the Minimum Legal drinking age (MLADA 21) should remain at 21 due to many risks associated with underage drinking. The National Uniform Drinking Age 21 Act provides a balance with an effective way of curbing issues related to youth drinking. It is essential to focus on the overall health and safety of society instead of focusing on listening to the demands of young people who cannot control themselves. Furthermore, drinking is not a necessity, but public safety is. The youth need to have a direction of what is right, and 18-year-olds cannot make big decisions as 21-year-olds. As such, keeping the legal drinking age 21 will help to keep others safe and prevent hasty decisions due to underage drinkers.

Works Cited

Hingson, Ralph W., Wenxing Zha, and Aaron M. White. “Drinking beyond the binge threshold: 

predictors, consequences, and changes in the US.” American journal of preventive medicine 52.6 (2017): 717-727.

Carpenter, Christopher, and Carlos Dobkin. “The minimum legal drinking age and morbidity in 

the United States.” Review of Economics and Statistics 99.1 (2017): 95-104.

Cheng, Hui G., Catalina Lopez‐Quintero, and James C. Anthony. “Age of onset or age at 

assessment—that is the question: Estimating newly incident alcohol drinking and rapid transition to heavy drinking in the United States, 2002–2014.” International journal of methods in psychiatric research 27.1 (2018): e1587.

Harding, Frances M., et al. “Underage drinking: a review of trends and prevention 

strategies.” American journal of preventive medicine 51.4 (2016): S148-S157.

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