Having undergone the experience of dealing with law enforcers with an alcohol related offence, I have prevented myself from being put into the category of college “binge” drinkers. Seeing my bank account go from $300 on Monday to $100 by the end of Sunday was an every week type of thing. This was happening because I was abusing alcohol due to the fact that I just couldn’t wait to hit age of 21. While being assigned to go to an eight hour diversion class, walking in and seeing the people there made me feel uncomfortable and I felt horribly out of place. I thought, what have I done with my life? As the class began people were asked to go around and state their name and what their offence was. As people were stating their names and offence I was overwhelmed with a room full of druggies and alcoholics. As I sat nervously in my chair, tapping my foot, drumming on the table and biting my nails as I waited for my name to be called. As my name is called I stand up and speak loudly enough so that the entire room can hear. “My name is Evan Price and I am here for a Minor in Possession charge” but is this really what a teenage kid needs to be doing to show him that alcohol is illegal until 21?
As the years go on we have seen that in over two decades with its implementation, the legal drinking age law was enforced at age 21. This drinking age law has created an atmosphere in which drinking terms such as “binge” and “pregame” have come into teenagers life’s to describe their choices about alcohol; in which the drinking age law is typically and carelessly overlooked by teenagers and adults alike. Whereas colleges and communities across the United States are tortured and have to deal with out-of-control house parties, property damage, and loud-mouthed drunks due to immature attitudes towards the drink. When 67,500 people, in the United States, were asked about their alcohol and drug use over the past year, “more than half of all Americans aged 12 or older report that they are current drinkers” (T, Buddy par. 1). With this being said college presidents/officials back in 2008 got together from some of the top universities across the nation to propose the idea of lowering the drinking age due to the fact of an up rise of binge drinkers among teenagers across the U.S. With the lowering of the drinking age teenagers will learn how to responsibly drink alcohol.
Binge drinkers across the U.S. are aware of the negative consequences that they may entitle during their life time. Proposing that many underage alcohol drinkers should quit their habits is an ineffective to teenagers. It takes a ton of understanding to help encourage a teenager to deal with the steps of stepping away from the brown bottle syndrome. By telling an underage drinker to quit drinking is like telling a person who loves animals to, “just get rid of them,” it’s nearly impossible. Even though, grisly awareness from outsiders is remarked as an unfriendly warning to those who have dealt with the consequences and are still not rising to the occasion to say no to underage drinking. Yes, individuals are competent enough to break habits, by altering and engaging in a different lifestyle. Therefore, with that being said, the government should lower the legal drinking age in the United States to 18.
We are challenged with a law that goes out of our reach of are traditional attitudes. In which one of these reassures us about the violation to people who abuse the drink. Historically, we have seen that during the Vietnam War the 26th Amendment in 1971 allowed and provided underage citizens that were 18 years of age to legally have the right to vote, while also allowing them to be put into the draft to fight in the war. President Dr. James Wright of Dartmouth College emphasizes that “if the nation could send an 18-year-olds to Iraq and if the College could send its students to off-campus programs in places where drinking was not regulated below age 21, then it should be deemed reasonable that students be able to drink legally at the age of 18 in the United States” (Hanson Par. 2). With this constitutional acknowledgement of teenagers being given authority as adults was fundamental for promising the right for 18 year-olds to drink. With these teenagers being given that right much of the youth of the nation was much more mature and was taught on how to drink responsibly.
Within today’s society teenagers are not being taught enough and parents and teachers are not setting a good example for teens in America. According to Ruth Streeter, a producer for 60 minutes on CBS news, states that “Alcohol education is what we need and that is a very important part of our proposal. And by that I don’t mean temperance lectures and I don’t mean prohibition, nor do I mean encouragement to drink (Streeter 4).” So with a better knowledge about this beverage lowering the drinking age would show that teenagers would mature at a younger age and would offer a more positive behavior towards drinking.
Without feeling the need to hide, “It has to start somewhere, it has to start sometime. What better place than here? What better time than now?” (Rocha). The choice is simple; lowering the drinking age to eighteen would help mature young women and young men, offer better education on how not to abuse the drink later in life and reduce “binge” drinking on campuses making college a safer place.
Hanson, David J. “”We Would All Be Better off If the Drinking Age Were 18″” “We Would All Be Better off If the Drinking Age were 18” N.p., 04 Dec. 2013. Web. 04 Dec. 2013.
Rocha, Zack. Rage Against the Machine. Rec. 6 July 1997. Epic Associated, 1992. CD.
Streeter, Ruth. “The Debate On Lowering The Drinking Age.” CBSNews. CBS Interactive, 01 Mar. 2010. Web. 25 Sept. 2013.
T, Buddy. “How Many People Drink Alcohol in the U.S.?” About.com Alcoholism. N.p., 17 Jan. 2011. Web. 06 Oct. 2013.