Lowering the Drinking Age Saves Lives

Olivia Pennie

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The legal drinking age is the United States should be lowered to 18. A lot of current social issues will be prevented.

Some people say that the drinking age should stay 21, or even be raised. They say this because people tend to be more mature at the age of 21. According to the government of the Netherlands, people under the age of 21 are more susceptible to “alcohol poisoning and lasting effects on the brain” due to the fact they are still maturing. Although that is good reasoning, if the drinking age was 18 the percentage of people under the age of 21 who experience alcohol poisoning would decrease. They would no longer feel the need to binge drink, which is one of the main contributors to alcohol poisoning. The number of pros for having the drinking age set at 18 outweigh those of 21. Many college and high school students under 21 are reluctant to call for help because they are underage. They are more afraid of their friends and themselves getting in trouble than getting help. If the drinking age were lowered to 18, that is three years’ worth of lives that will be put in less danger. Also, 18 is the age of adulthood in the United States. If an 18-year-old is old enough to join the military and risk their life for our country, they should be able to drink a beer. The safety of the population is the most important factor in this decision.

Allowing 18-20-year-olds legally drink will allow them to drink in environments where there will be supervision. Most importantly, there are fewer drunk driving accidents in many countries with the legal drinking age of 18. ProCon.org says that in the “United States, 31% of driving accident deaths involve alcohol; Great Britain 16%, Germany 9%, China 4%, and Israel 3%.” That is a significant difference.
   Obviously, there are many reasons to change the drinking age to 18. The change does not have to happen right away, but it needs to start sometime. An idea to start the process is allowing 18-20-year-olds drink under supervision in places like restaurants but cannot purchase alcohol from a distributor. Taking steps like this will help save lives.