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The controversy of MLDA - PowerPoint Presentation Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Abstract MLDA or the minimum age for drinking has remained a controversial ever since its inception in the 1850s. This paper examines this controversy. First, the paper delves into the history of MLDA in order to establish the history of the controversy…
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Download file to see previous pages However, this paper presents the arguments and statistics put forward by the two sides of the controversy in supporting their claims. The Controversy of MLDA MLDA or the minimum legal age for drinking has been one controversial issue ever since its inception in the 1850s. This controversy arises from the proponents and opponents of either raising or lowering the MLDA. Before establishing the controversy, it is important to examine a brief history of the MLDA. After prohibition ended, many states restricted the access of alcohol by the youth by designating 21 years as the minimum legal age for drinking. However, between the years of 1970 and 1975, about 29 states reduced the MLDA to eighteen, nineteen, or twenty years, (AMA 1). This was a time when the lowest age for activities such as voting was also being reduced. At this time, scientists started studying the impacts of a reduced MLDA, by focusing on motor vehicle accidents, the leading cause death of teenagers. Several such studies indicated that accidents significantly increased among teens when MLDA was reduced. Armed with the facts that a lower age for drinking led to more traffic fatalities and injuries among the youth, citizen advocacy groups piled pressure on states to restore MLDA to 21 years. Indeed, between 1976 and 1983, 16 states increased their drinking age. This was met with resistance from other states amid rising concerns that minors would traverse across state lines in order to purchase and consume liquor. This prompted the federal government to pass the Uniform Drinking Act. Among alcohol policies, MLDA is the most studied, with studies mainly focusing on the effects of either a higher or lower MLDA, (AMA 1). Therefore, MLDA continues to elicit controversy even as all the 50 states have set the MLDA at 21 years, with exceptions existing in different states regarding consumption at home, medical necessity, and under adult supervision among others. So where does the controversy lie? Those who propose the reduction in the MLDA from 21 years argue that it has not put a stop to teenage drinking. Instead, it has transferred underage binge drinking into private and less restricted environments, and this has led to increased health and life-threatening behavior by teenagers. For example, while many believe that people who are under the age of 21 years are prohibited from alcohol consumption in the US, underage drinking is permitted in 29 states if it is done on private premises with parental consent, in 25 states if used for religious purposes, and in 7 states of it used for educational purposes. Those who oppose the lowering of the minimum age for drinking argue that teenagers have not yet attained an age where they are capable of responsibly handling alcohol, and hence have a higher likelihood of causing harm and even killing themselves or others by drinking prior to the age of 21. Their perception is that when the lowest age for drinking is increased, the number of traffic fatalities decrease. In fact, research findings tend to support the claims by the people who oppose the lowering of the MLDA. According to the American Medical Association (1), a higher drinking age is successful in curbing alcohol-related deaths and injuries among the youth. When the age is lowered, the death and injury rates increase. When the age is increased, the death and injury rates decrease. This also means that the number of motor vehicle accidents decrease with an increase in drinking age. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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