Is It Time to Lower the Drinking Age to 18?

This article is about the issue of the drinking age in America. The author references the fact that 18-year old’s can, vote, drive, pay taxes, marry, become a legal guardian, own a gun, and fight and die for our county. He starts with a history of drinking in America which I talk bout bellow. Next, he goes into detail about the differences of American and European drinking habits in teenagers. “As an American who spent half a year living in France and traveling through other European countries with about a dozen other American college students, I can tell you the difference between the way they drink and the way we drink is akin to comparing someone who enjoys an after-dinner mint to the fat kid who dove headfirst into Willy Wonka’s chocolate river.

” He provides a lot of insightful statistics on that matter. After that, he starts going into a compare and contrast of the American and European systems.

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He also addresses a source of many people thinking our higher drinking age saves lives. A statistic that is thrown around a lot it is that American teens are on average less intoxicated than teens in Europe. “A study conducted by the Prevention Research Center, contends that European teens spend more time intoxicated than Americans, which is to some, example enough that the European model of a lower drinking age would be harmful. But, the research never fully details if this intoxication leads to problems like more frequent car crashes, violent crimes, cases of alcoholism, and alcohol-related illnesses and/or deaths, which is pertinent information given that a study by the

World Health Organization showed that even though Americans drink less than Europeans, we die more from alcohol-related causes.

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” This article is of course very one-sided in favor of lowering the drinking age. However, all the data in the article is true and relevant. All the research data Wil Fulton uses can be backed up by credited research institutes. The way Fulton talks in this article also provides a secure feeling. He makes it sound intelligent and trustworthy.

History: Why is the drinking age 21 in the first place?

The Drinking Age Act was passed in 1984 by Ronald Reagan and made the drinking age across the US 21 years of age. Before that, each state varied from 18-21 years of age. In most cases, it was 18 for beer and 21 for liquor. This caused for a lot of people to just walk over state borders to drink what they couldn’t drink in their state. Now a day, something similar happens. Many able students will cross over to Canada or Mexico to drink legally. There is nothing stopping them from doing such things. It is worth noting that Reagan also thought Ice Cream is a wholesome and Notorious food. This Section of article was very well written and gave a lot of good backstory to the subject. It provides a good understanding of how things came to be as they are now.

One comparison that is commonly made is between the US and Europe. Wil Fulton goes into very good detail about the differences between our two nations. He provides great personal experience and proven facts about drinking habits in Europe and US. It quickly becomes apparent how irresponsible American teens are while drinking. Here is a perfect example, “Alcohol to an American under age 21 is “forbidden fruit,” that entices with its “Don’t do this!” mystique, and forces kids into risky behavior. I don’t need a study to back me up. I was a teenager who – to be totally honest – engaged in a fair share of illegal drinking.

The illegal aspect encouraged me away from any controlled settings like bars and restaurants, and forced me to drink and have parties wherever and whenever we could find a secret and often unsafe location (woods at night, abandoned houses, haunted mansions, frat parties, etc.)” “You know where kids consistently get into massive amounts of stuff? Frat parties. You know who stops going to frat parties and straight to the bar once they turn 21? Everyone.” This next part is an example of a con to lowering the drinking age that shows he is not using skewed data, “The “interstate beer runs” as my parents would call them, led to what MADD and other similar organizations would call “blood borders.”

These were stretches of highway known to bring liquored-up kids back to their own, less-alcohol-friendly states… with predictably disastrous results. MADD claims “…the 21 minimum drinking age law has saved about 900 lives per year as estimated by the National Traffic Highway Administration (NHTSA). In short, there are more than 25,000 people alive today because of the 21 minimum drinking age law in every state.” From 1982 (remember, this is pre-reform) to 1995, fatal car crashes involving young people with positive BACs dropped from 61% to 31%. That’s a considerable difference.”

These next few quotes are from a doctor that Wil was able to interview. This is what he said, “According to Dr. Nuestatter, “The brain stops growing in the early teens, or even pre- teens. The brain of a 21-year-old and an 18-year-old, is pretty much the same. But if alcohol is being consumed irresponsibly, then yes, having an earlier start in that arena can do more harm — simply because it will be happening for a longer time. “Abusing alcohol at any age is not beneficial to health, though. That must be understood. And, potentially, if bad habits are learned earlier on in life, then they have more time to manifest themselves in your body. The brain may be done growing, but it is constantly evolving and changing through young adulthood — meaning bad habits can form.”

In much of my own personal experience in Europe, drinking was done at pubs, or homes, within walking distance. The culture there is just more suited and reliant on walking and public transportation. Where an Irish teen might be able to walk home from the village pub after a few beers, an American teen would likely have to drive home from a chain restaurant 20 miles away from his house. There is also the fact of the military and being able to vote. There are so many things we can do that can do except for enjoying a round of drinks with some friends on the weekend.

I really enjoyed typing up this assignment. It was enjoyable to read with a critical eye and talk about it in my essay. I found it extremely hard to meet the word requirement however as the article I chose just wasn’t long enough. Luckily, I was able to follow the guidelines to help me write. I tried my best to follow the guide and rubric, but as I already mentioned, the word length requirement did not make it easy. I was afraid of quoting too much. I was happy to get it completed and I think I did pretty well for myself. I don’t know how it will compare to others, but I am happy with what I did. If I had more time to make it better, I would have put a little more thought into my own words and maybe the summary as well.

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Is It Time to Lower the Drinking Age to 18?. (2023, Mar 18). Retrieved from

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