USA Drinking Age Controversy
In a society where alcohol is the most commonly used drug among today’s teenagers, the debate continues whether or not to keep the drinking age at 21.
According to the World Health Organization, the United States currently has the highest minimum drinking age of any country in the world (other than places where alcohol is forbidden or illegal), which is 21 years. Most of the drinking ages around the world are 18 years old, if not even younger. Some countries don’t even have a set drinking age.
The National Minimum Drinking Age Act was put into effect in 1984. This required that all states within the U.S. make it Illegal for anyone under 21 years old from purchasing alcohol. If this act was never issued, the United States would have lost around 10% of the funding for the federal highways. If any state decides to lower the drinking age, they could still lose 10% of their federal highway funding.
“Although the legal purchase age is 21 years, a majority of college students under this age consume alcohol but in an irresponsible manner. This is because drinking by these youth is seen as an enticing forbidden fruit, a badge of rebellion against authority, and a symbol of adulthood.” Says Ruth C. Engs, a professor at Indiana University. “The legal drinking age should be lowered to about 18 or 19 and young adults allowed to drink in controlled environments such as restaurants, taverns, pubs and official school and university functions.”
According to the Christian Science Monitor, an average of 11 American teens die every day from crashes relating to alcohol. It was also noted that underage drinking does lead to more teen pregnancy, violent crime, and sexual assault. Out of the college students, alcohol is the cause of about 1,700 deaths, 500,000 injuries, 600,000 physical assaults, and 70,000 sexual assaults every year.
The National Institute of Health states that about 75% of 12th graders, 67% of 10th graders, and 40% of...