Why Drinking Age Should be Lowered

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There have been many arising issues and conflicts dealing with underage drinking. This is relevant to many issues in today’s society with college students breaking laws and policies. There has been controversial opinions on the topic about the drinking age and whether or not we should change the law to lower the drinking age. Based on previous research and evidence, its evident that the drinking age should be lowered to the age eighteen. Eighteen is the age of adulthood in the United States and lowering the drinking age would decrease unsafe drinking activity, by allowing young adults to be open about when and what they have been drinking. In other words, it will allow for better education about alcohol and its effects and consequences.

Many people oppose lowering the drinking age because of the fact that they believe drinking can cause physical harm to young adults under the age of twenty-one. Underage drinking can affect the brains of young adults because of the underdevelopment of the brain. According to Silviri MM, “Brain maturation and associated improvements in decision making continue into the third decade of life, reaching a plateau within the period referred to as emerging adulthood,” (Silveri). Not only can underage drinking cause disruption in memory, but can also encourage misconduct in a stage where most students are supposed to mature and engage in a safe environment. If the drinking age would be lowered, many people who are already exposed to alcohol would be encouraging younger ages to do the same fueling the bad behavior. This would only cause more accidents and continue the ongoing issue about physical harm to teenagers.

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Although underage drinking is an ongoing problem in today’s world, there is no real way to physically stop all of the young adults who are already and continue to be exposed to alcohol. Eighteen is the age of an adult in the United States, which gives more rights to the teenagers who soon will be stepping into adulthood. Eighteen year olds are considered to be independent at this age, from their parents and guardians. Eighteen year old males are also receiving their draft cards during this time. In other words, we are allowing eighteen year olds to adopt adult behaviors, but the law still prohibits drinking under the age of 21.

According to “Should the Drinking age be Lowered to 18?,” David Hanson explains how preparing young adults for drinking the way we prepare teenagers for driving, there would not be as many mishaps or recurring events of underage students. He goes on to state that safe driving requires physical maturity and coordination, knowledge of the rules of the road, and driving experience. David Hanson goes on to quote, “Issuing drinking licenses to 18- to 20-year-old adults who have completed a specified alcohol education course and who have not been found guilty of violating a state's alcohol laws. Such licenses might be graduated, like learner's permits, so that restrictions could be lifted incrementally after successful compliance with all their many conditions,” (Hanson). This is a smart and efficient way to provide young, mature adults to earn their right to drink legally.

Another reason the drinking age should be lowered in the United States is because at the age of eighteen, there will be no harm to the brain when alcohol is involved, based on previous research that was conducted and studied by educated researchers Another important point from “Should the Drinking age be Lowered to 18?,” David Hanson pointed out, “There's no evidence that drinking in moderation damages developing brains. If it did, most Italians, Jews, French, Greeks, Spaniards, Portuguese and many others would be suffering mental defects.” To back this statement up, the only way there is harm to the brain is if there was alcohol abuse, which would be prevented by the drinking license that would be provided to mature young adults.

These studies, of which there have now been many, shows that there could be positive outcomes in which young adults would not be behaving recklessly. There will always be arising issues and conflicts dealing with underage drinking and the rebellious actions of younger adults, but with many new solutions and society changing as the years continue, the actions of others can not always be stopped but can be educated as something positive rather than negative. One of the most occurring problems with drinking is the social aspect, but the right education and maturity will prevent fatal accidents and misconduct behavior.

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