Can Drive, Get Married, But Not Drink?
Published 02 Jun 2017
The gist here is that if a person can be tasked to perform such duties as going off to war and risk his life for his country, can he/she be old enough to even grab a beer at the local bar (Jacque Wilson)? Or the person is even allowed to serve on a jury and elect the country’s next leaders; shouldn’t that person be allowed to have some drinks with his friends (Wilson)? There are arguments for and against the issue, so that to come up with a rational and educated choice, it is wise to weigh the arguments emanating from both sides. Then the stronger of the two arguments should be the one followed.
Keep it up
Many of those that argue against the issue of lowering the age that allows a person to drink aver that lowering the drinking age limit will just lead to more instances of tolerating impetuous drinking habits among the youth (Wilson). In their estimation, lowering the allowable age for a individual to drink will not abet the issue (Wilson). They feel that the solution might only lead to an exacerbation of the problem (Wilson). Some organizations, such as Mothers against Drunk Driving, state that if the teenager is allowed to legally intoxicate himself because of the lowered age requirements, then the rates of drunk drivers and accidents related to drunk driving will increase (Wilson).
Many shrug off the notion that it will be possible to even monitor the teens who would like to drink even if the law stated that it was illegal for them to do so (Star Tribune). The crux here is that if the age limit was still at 21 in some states, and the law seems inutile to prevent them from doing so, why not give them a legal foundation to drink (Tribune)? In the legislature of Minnesota, filed by state Representative Phyllis Khan seeks to address the issue of lowering the age limit for people to legally drink alcoholic beverages (Tribune). But it seems that the scientific basis for lowering the age limit is against the initiative (Tribune).
Aside from similar initiatives in the 1970’s, the studies bear out that the brain of the teenager is more susceptible to the delirious effects of alcohol than the brain of adults (Tribune). Also, the teenagers who start drinking at an early age are more prone to acquire deficiencies in their memory functions, learning capacities and judgment ability (Tribune). Finally, teenagers who start out early in their drinking habits have a greater tendency to become addicted to alcohol in their later years (Tribune). In a study conducted during the initial four years after the lowering of the age to drink, an increase in drunk driving accidents involving youths was noted (Richard Goeman). In the aftermath of increasing drunk driving accidents in the midst of the Vietnam War, the United States Congress threatened to hold federal monies from states that do not comply with setting the age at 21, to at present every single state in the Union has complied (Tribune).
Bring It Down
Many still aver that the laws that set the age limit of the drinking legally were there in the first place to save lives (Alex Johnson). But despite the challenge posed by some transport and safety officials in the Federal government, there is a silent but snowballing initiative in the society to lower the drinking age to 18 years of age (Johnson). Again, the state thesis here is that if the youth as young as 18 years of age can be sent off to Iraq and Afghanistan to die, then they should be given legal basis to drink (Johnson). Many oppose such moves saying that lowering the age for minors to drink alcoholic beverages can lead them down the road to consuming more intoxicating drinks in the future (Johnson).
But in reality, there is no Federally-mandated limit by which teenagers are barred from consuming alcoholic beverages (Johnson). Although the limit was part of the pressure from Washington, states complied so that they will get Federal funding (Johnson). But in recent years, researchers and policy organizations have joined the political conflict, since in their estimation the limit is inutile to arrest the instances of drinking (Johnson). In the estimation of some analysts, what the law did was just to thrust the teenagers who wanted to drink under the legal radar, hence losing control over their activities (Johnson).
Teenagers should be allowed to drink at 18 or at the most 19 years of age in environments that can be regulated (Ruth Engs). In this mode, it would be expected for the teenagers to behave in a responsible and acceptable manner (Engs). The related issues that are being linked to the concern of teenagers are slowly decreasing (Engs). What is needed is that different approaches be adopted and stop issuing sweeping conclusions in the fact of teenage drinking (Engs).
As earlier stated, it is averred that the current laws on keeping teenagers from drinking is not adequately answering the challenges of the problem (Engs). If the teenagers are barred from legally drinking in restaurants and pubs, then they will drink where they can find space to do so (Engs). Lowering the legal age to drink will mean that teenagers can drink in controlled areas, and can be properly monitored and regulated (Engs). Since the current statute is inutile and is becoming pointless, then the authorities must be tasked to change the law (Engs).
- Engs, Ruth C. “Why the drinking age should be lowered: an opinion based upon research”. http://www.indiana.edu/~engs/articles/cqoped.html
- Engs, Ruth Clifford. “Forbidden Fruit”. Vermont Quarterly number 25and 49 (1999).http://www.indiana.edu/~engs/articles/fruit.html
- Goeman, Richard J. “Chapter 11-Why we need a minimum purchase-age of 21″.http://www.indiana.edu/~engs/articles/fruit.html
- Johnson, Alex. “Debate on lower drinking age bubbling up”.
- Star Tribune. “State’s drinking age should remain 21-lowering the age failed and won’t work now”. Minnesota Star Tribune 5 April 2008.
- Wilson, Jacque. “Old enough to vote, serve in the military…and drink”?