Changing the Drinking Age to 18

Persuasive Speech Outline

Purpose: To persuade students to change their feelings about the current drinking age and the benefits of changing it to eighteen.

Central Idea: Underage drinking is inevitable. If an eighteen year old is old enough and mature enough to vote and serve the country in war, he or she should be able to drink. With the proper upbringing and schooling on the subject, the drinking age should be changed to eighteen.

Introduction: OK, lets be honest, of the people on campus under twenty-one, most have enjoyed a beer on occasion. The United States Government will tell you that all of the people are being irresponsible. Are they? Is there some secret ceremony we all go through when we turn twenty-one that make us responsible drinkers? I look around and see people who are under 21 and are ridiculously drunk. However, I see an equal number of underage people who are very responsible about their drinking. I also see people who are of age ridiculously drunk among the crowd. Face it: age doesn’t determine whether or not you drink responsibly. It never has. With my research on the topic, I hope to persuade you to think twice about your feelings on changing our drinking age to eighteen.

I. It is no secret that on any college campus any student, regardless of his age has access to alcohol.
A. This access may not be at the bar, but a student may drink himself to a stuper at a party or have an older friend purchase the alcohol.
B. Studies show that, on an average, college students who legally can purchase alcohol drink less than those who can’t.
C. So the question is what is the twenty-one drinking age law doing?
1. It is making drinking a little more exciting because it is forbidden.

Transition: A majority of young people under age that consume alcohol do so in a an irresponsible manner and not responsibly as those young adults of foreign countries.

II. Alcohol is one of America’s most heatedly argued topics, however it is a different story in other countries.
A. The drinking age in other countries is usually 18, if there is one at all.
1. In Europe, the drinking age varies from 16-18.
a. Young people do not consider ‘getting drunk’ an acceptable pastime.
2. A friend of mine who was a foreign exchange student in Germany stated “the locals treat alcohol as a supplement to evening activities, not as the main event.
a. The only drunk people she saw in clubs were her American classmates.

Transition: If young adults are taught that drinking alcohol is a privilege and should be taken seriously, the problem of alcohol abuse on college campuses and across the nation would begin to heal itself.

III. Currently, twenty-year olds, by law are not allowed to sip a glass of champagne at their own wedding.
A. A lowered drinking age is looked down upon by conservatives and lawmakers because of the many consequences linked with excessive drinking.
1. Drinking too much leads to dulled judgment, addiction, and possibly death.
2. The idea is that an 18 year old is not mature enough to be trusted with alcohol.
3. However, the same 18 year old can vote, serve and die for our country in battle, and be tried as an adult in the court of law.

Transition: Maturity is one of the arguments another is driving accidents that would increase with a new drinking age.

IV. It is said that the legal age successfully combats drunk driving, a phenomenon often associated with young people.
A. Among drivers killed in motor vehicle crashes, the highest rates of alcohol intoxication occur in the age group of 25-34, followed by 21-24 and then 35-44.
B. Actually studies indicate that students under 21 are more likely than any other age group to discourage peers from driving drunk.
C. For those who do not warn their friends this is when the maturity level comes in play, with more strict and heavily forced drunk driving laws paired with drinking education programs in high school, the rest is up to the person.

Conclusion: Students obviously need to learn how to drink in a relaxed, mature environment, the kink of environment found in Europe and other foreign countries. Students who can approach alcohol as a familiar and socially acceptable substance are more likely to behave responsibly and rationally than those who must hunt it down and drink it in secret. Students