TwentyOne year Old Drinking LawsOld enough to serv Essay

This essay has a total of 1571 words and 7 pages.

TwentyOne year Old Drinking LawsOld enough to serve old enough to be served



The American government states that a person must be at least twenty-one years of age to
consume alcoholic beverages. However, it is in fact legal for someone to serve alcohol at
age eighteen. The purpose of this paper is to research whether or not it is just for these
laws to exist. The prevailing question is how can the government allow people between the
ages of eighteen and twenty years old serve alcohol to people twenty-one and over when
they are not allowed to consume it themselves?

When faced with writing this paper, I pondered many things. Such as:
If an eighteen year old is permitted to do just about anything they desire, why are they
not permitted to consume alcoholic beverages? Does the twenty-one year old drinking law
encourage irresponsible drinking habits? Are there any alternatives to the twenty-one year
old drinking law? Is this law prevalent in other countries around the world? And finally,
I questioned my own feelings on the topic.

When one turns eighteen, he or she is then presented with a plethora of responsibilities.
An eighteen year old is allowed to purchase cigarettes, vote for government positions,
join the armed forces, handle guns and other ammunition in the military, and make other
major adult decisions. It is legal for a person to have sexual intercourse with another
adult, which in turn can lead to bringing another life into this world. At eighteen years
old, a person can no longer be charged as a minor. They are seen as mature adults in the
eyes of the legal system. All of these responsibilities are bestowed upon a person when
they turn eighteen. However, they are not allowed to consume alcoholic beverages.

"The minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) of twenty one in the United States is commonly seen
as a highly successful public health measure" (Hornseth, 428). It does, however encourage
excessive drinking and possible alcohol abuse in teenagers. Most teenagers go through a
rebellious stage where they want to do everything they possibly can to rebel against
authority. Many teens want to go against the norms and laws of society and give into peer
pressure. Most underage drinkers obtain, "fake id's" which is a form of photo id that
states they are in fact twenty-one years old. Many bars and connivance stores are aware of
the fact that these ids are not legitimate. However, in the hopes of better business, they
allow the teenager to purchase alcohol. Several of my friends have already turned
twenty-one. They tell me that in some cases, "the thrill is gone." When it's perfectly
legal to consume alcohol, they are not doing anything wrong, thus taking away the fear of
getting caught and the excitement of getting away with it. In Europe, there is no legal
drinking age. A friend of mine is baffled by American teenager's fascination of, "getting
wasted." American teenagers engage in the practice of, "binge drinking", whereas they
drink for the sole purpose of getting drunk. This activity can lead to alcoholism,
aggression, and alcohol poisoning. If parents taught their children how to drink
responsibly, this problem would not be as prevalent. If underage drinking were not
considered a social more, it would most likely seem less exciting to teenagers. In an
article regarding lowering the current minimum legal drinking age, Elizabeth Wheeler
stated, "Prohibiting the sale of liquor to responsible young adults creates an atmosphere
where binge drinking and alcohol abuse have become a problem" (Wheelan, 14). She educates
her daughter in the dangers of alcohol and how important it is to drink responsibly. She
stresses the risk her daughter takes every time she drinks. There are date-rape drugs out
on the market now that are easily slipped into a drink. These drugs are colorless,
odorless, and tasteless, they make a person feel as if they are drunk, however, the next
morning that person cannot recollect anything that happen the evening before. By her
daughter knowing that she supports her, it makes her daughter less likely to engage in
excessive alcohol consumption. The chancellor of the University of Colorado at boulder
noticed that trying to cease underage drinking had failed. According to the Chronicle of
Higher Education, "The chancellor has started a campaign to allow 18 to 20 year-olds to
drink alcohol after receiving an instructional course on responsible drinking. Park has
tried to promote his plan to Colorado's Congressional delegation where it met with cool
reception from some legislators. Colorado has a 21 year-old drinking age like every other
state but some college administrators like Park's plan because it emphasizes moderation
over abstinence" (Gose, 29). I feel that Chancellor Park's idea should be implemented on
college campuses across the country. The fact remains that the majority of college
students are already drinking by the time they turn 21, most of which are drinking
irresponsibly. If students learned the dangers of drinking and how to drink responsibly,
it can not only increase safety on college campuses, but minimize the amount of students
who abuse alcohol as well.
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