Drinking Age Compare and Constrast Essay

This essay has a total of 493 words and 2 pages.

Drinking Age

As a nation, we have tried prohibition legislation twice in the past for controlling
irresponsible drinking problems. This was during National Prohibition in the 1920's and
state prohibition during the 1850's. These laws however, were found to be unenforceable
and caused other social problems. Today, we are repeating history and making the same
mistakes that occurred in the past. Prohibition did not work then, and prohibition for
people under the age of 21 is not working now. The solution is to lower the drinking age
to 18.

Historically, the drinking age was lowered to 18 during the Vietnam War, when the drunk
driving rate increased. Instead of attacking drunk driving overall, we set up laws that
targeted a demographic group, by raising the drinking age to 21. Research has shown a
continuous decrease in drinking and driving, however this is the result of many factors:
education concerning drunk driving, designated driver programs, increased seat belt and
air bag usage, safer automobiles, lower speed limits, etc.

Although the legal purchase age is 21 years of age, a majority of college students under
this age consume alcohol but in an irresponsible manner. This is because drinking is seen
as an enticing "forbidden fruit," a "badge of rebellion against authority" and a symbol of
"adulthood." In order to get a drink, teenagers will carry fake ID's, or sneak drinks from
their parents' liquor cabinets. This kind of attitude doesn't encourage responsible
drinking. Furthermore, when the opportunity to drink arises, there is a kind of "Let's
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