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Should drinking age be lowered to 18 like in Europe - Essay Example

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The issue of reducing the legal drinking age in the US is so much live and concurrent that nearly all high school and college students favor reducing the age of drinking to 18. Time is very much ripe to debate this issue for the sake of the young American populations…
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Should drinking age be lowered to 18 like in Europe
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Should Drinking Age be Lowered to 18 Like in Europe The issue of reducing the legal drinking age in the US is so much live and concurrent that nearlyall high school and college students favor reducing the age of drinking to 18. Time is very much ripe to debate this issue for the sake of the young American populations (Debatewise.org 1). Online audiences also support very much the reduction of age bar to 18, as is visible from the online poll on the topic, as 82 percent say les and only 18 percent say no to it (Debate.org 1). Pros and cons of the issue need to be considered thoughtfully.
Unlike Europe, drinking age in all the 50 American states is 21 years. Those speaking against reducing the drinking age support drinking in exceptional cases, such as drinking in home environment, drinking under adult guidance, for medical needs, and other similar reasons. Those who favor reducing the age bar to 18 years, the minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) from 21, counter that it has not helped teen drinking. On the contrary, it has encouraged binge drinking in private and risky surroundings, causing health and life-threatening conduct by youngsters (Procon.org 1).
Just because the European drinking age is 18 years, Americans should also follow them is not a logical argument in itself. Relatively to the European countries’ teenagers’ drinking pattern, the American teenagers’ rate of drinking is lower. The American teenagers’ rate of consuming alcohol or binge drinking is similar or lesser than their European counterparts. Negative effects of increased rate of alcohol intake and binge drinking have been reported in less than 13 years old teenagers as well, which leads to the logical factor of not reducing the age bar from 21 to 18 years (Procon.org 1).
Another logical argument against reducing the drinking age bar is that MLDA 21 assists teenagers to control binge drinking. Binge drinking habit is at the highest among 21- to 25-year-olds at 45.9%. Comparing this rate with that of the 12-13, 14-15, 16-17, and 18-20 age-groups, their binge drinking rates are 1.5%, 7.8%, 19.4%, and 35.7% respectively, which are relatively very lower. Considering the legal aspect, the MLDA 21 laws help in downsizing the number of drinkers below the legal drinking age. It has been observed that since 1984 when maximum numbers of MLDA 21laws were promulgated, the percentage of below-age alcohol consumption has reduced. Research has also pointed that when the alcohol consumption age is 21; those below this age consume less alcohol, and make it a habit to consume less alcohol across their early 20s. Another encouraging sign of 21 drinking age bar is that relatively to adults, such youths consume less alcohol (Procon.org 1).
Those who speak in favor of reducing the drinking age bar to 18, argue that traffic accidents and loss of lives occurs and is most common with newly-legal drinkers, irrespective of the MLDA. The 2009 stats guide that accidents were caused the most by the 21-to-24-year-old, showing a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) levels of .08, which is 35 percent. Reducing the drinking age bar will heighten the rate of accidents in 18- to 20-year-olds, which would balance by reducing the accident rate for those 21 and older. Another argument in favour of reducing the age bar is given by quoting the examples of other European countries having MLDA of 18, and succeeding in reducing accidents although their legal age bar is less than 21 (Procon.org 1). In conclusion, one can say that logics of letting the age bar to 21 are relatively very important for the better present and future of teenagers than the arguments in favour of reducing it to 18. Therefore, drinking age should not be reduced.
Works Cited
Debate.org. “Should the United States lower its drinking age from 21 to 18?” Debate.org, 2013. Web 31 July 2014. < http://www.debate.org/opinions/should-the-united-states-lower-its-drinking-age-from-21-to-18>.
Debatewise.org. The USA legal drinking age should be lowered to 18 from 21”. Debatewise, 23 June 2014. Web 31 July 2014. .
Procon.org. “Lowering the Drinking Age will nvite more Use of Illicit Drugs Among 18-21 Year Olds” Procon, 18 July 2014. Web 31 July 2014. . Read More
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