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The drinking age - Research Paper Example

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In 2010 in the United States, one person died approximately every hour as the result of an alcohol-impaired driver; of these drivers, nearly fifteen percent were under the legal drinking age of twenty-one (Bell). …
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Outline Thesis: The drinking age should not be lowered as younger people are both physically and mentally unfit to handle the responsibilities of drinking. Introduction: Underage drinking-related accident statistics (Bell); Younger people react differently to the effects of alcohol and do not know how much they can handle until it is too late Body: The drinking age has previously been lowered, only to yield negative and devastating results (Chapman); There is a correlation between a higher drinking age and fewer alcohol-related accidents; In favor of lowering the age: If the age were lowered, there would be fewer attempts of young people illegally obtaining alcohol. In refute, if they have to illegally get alcohol, they aren’t mature enough to be drinking anyway; Not lowering the age goes against the Constitution that states that people are officially adults at the age of eighteen. In refute, the age limit exists to protect young, undeveloped people from accessing a harmful substance Conclusion: Proposals have been brought up that would educate and license young drinkers, though this would still go against keeping youngsters away from a substance they cannot handle; The drinking age should remain the same as it has already proven to be more effective at keeping people safe Argumentative Essay In 2010 in the United States, one person died approximately every hour as the result of an alcohol-impaired driver; of these drivers, nearly fifteen percent were under the legal drinking age of twenty-one (Bell). It has been in the works for many years to lower the drinking age from twenty-one to eighteen, but many have fought against it. Indeed, keeping the drinking age as it is has saved numerous lives, which is due to both the responsibility that comes with being older and the effect that alcohol has on the brain of a certain age. The brain of an eighteen year old is less developed than the brain of a twenty-one year old, and thus responds differently to alcohol; they are also less mature to understand the consequences of drinking. In the 1970s, many states lowered their drinking age and “they got more drunk-driving deaths among teenagers than similar states that stayed at 21 (Chapman).” When the drinking age was lowered, alcohol-related deaths from young people skyrocketed. These same statistics would exist if the drinking age were lowered again. This has shown that there is a correlation between a higher drinking age and fewer alcohol-related injuries and fatalities. Since it has already been noted that lowering the drinking age would bring about more deaths, and as a result the age was brought back to twenty-one, there would be no logic in repeating a past mistake. We have already learned that a higher age more than suffices when it comes to alcohol. The most common argument in favor of lowering the drinking age is that people are going to still obtain alcohol whether or not they are legally allowed, so it would only make more sense to lower the age. If the age is lowered, fewer people will have to illegally obtain alcohol. However, given the fact that these underage people have to resort to illegal means to obtain their alcohol shows that they are not mature enough to even worry about having a drink. If they cannot obey the law, they should not be rewarded by having the drinking age lowered for their benefit. Furthermore, the age restriction is set as a means to protect young people from the harmful effects and consequences of drinking alcohol. The age restriction is set as a safety precaution and not as something that should be challenged by people acting illegally. Many in favor of lowering the drinking age have also argued that keeping the drinking age at twenty-one goes against the constitutional rights of people that are eighteen. The Constitution claims that at eighteen people are officially considered adults. This has caused many would-be underage drinkers, and those that favor changing the drinking age, that they should be allowed to drink. Nevertheless, the set age limit for drinking alcohol is not entirely dependent on being an adult or not, but rather on how the brain reacts to alcohol based on age. The younger someone is, the faster they get drunk; they also have a harder time of knowing when too much alcohol is enough. Again, the restriction on who can buy alcohol is in place to protect the health and wellbeing of these young people. Proposals have been brought forth that would educate and license young drinkers, though this is something that all drinkers should be given access to. A program such as this would inform drinkers of the dangers of drinking and the consequences of actions undergone while under the influence of alcohol. While this may help young drinkers understand the danger of drinking, it does not help the fact that many of their brains and bodies are still too underdeveloped to properly handle alcohol. Until a happy medium can be found to favor both young adults and safety, the drinking age should remain at twenty-one, where it has already proven to be beneficial in keeping people safe and healthier. Works Cited Bell, Kaitlyn. "Drunk Driving Research & Statistics." The Century Council. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Apr. 2011. . Chapman, Steve. "The Perils of a Lower Drinking Age." Reason Magazine. N.p., 21 July 2008. Web. 2 Apr. 2011. . Read More
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