Lower Drinking Age

Read Complete Research Material

Lower Drinking Age

Thesis Statement

It is legal for 18 year olds to die for their country, to get married, to vote but drinking of alcohol have been denied.


In other countries around the world if you are under the age of 21 you can drink alcohol some countries don't even have an age limit, but in America you have to be 21 to buy alcohol. You can go to war and die for your country when you are 18, you can also vote, buy cigarettes, but you can't buy alcohol. At 18 years old, there are many responsibilities gained, such as being able to marry, but one cannot drink alcohol at the wedding reception because every state in the United States has set the legal drinking age at 21 years old. The drinking age has a major impact on the 18-21 year-old crowd because many feel drinking is a right they should have since they are considered adults. This is an issue that faces the national and state governments. The United States passed a law in 1984, to rise the drinking age to 21, and would reduce highway funds for states that didn't change the age. Should the drinking age be lowered to 18 years old, when one is considered an adult, and assumes adult privileges and penalties, or should the drinking age remain at 21 years old, since people are more mature and therefore, can be safe and responsible with alcohol?

Background Information

There has been a debate since Prohibition, on whether alcohol consumption should be legal or not. Prohibition occurred in 1919, when the 18th Amendment was approved. Prohibition outlawed the manufacture, sale, and transportation of intoxicating liquors. This Amendment was repealed with the 21st Amendment in 1933 (Mooney, 59-71).

The National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 required all of the states to change their legal drinking age, if the states refused to comply with the law, they would lose money under the Federal Aid Highway Act. Candy Lightner, the founder of MADD, was a key player in the passing of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984. Lightner wanted to put this bill in action to prevent people from being killed in an alcohol related crash. The National Traffic Highway Safety Administration has estimated that 18,220 lives have been saved due to an increased drinking age. During 2001, in Minnesota, there were 568 fatal car crashes, and 226 of which were alcohol related. 41% of all of the traffic fatalities in the United States, in 2001, are alcohol related (Liebschutz, pp 39-51).

The decision of whether or not to lower the drinking age, or to keep it at 21 is continually brought up by special interest groups, such as MADD Mothers against Drunk Driving, which wants to keep the drinking age at 21. One of the special interest groups in favor of lowering the drinking age is LAFAA Legalize Alcohol for all Adults. Another organization that would like the drinking age to remain at 21 is ...
Related Ads