Even though underage drinking is illegal, 11% of the population aged 12 to 20 drink alcohol in the United States. On average, 4,300 deaths occurred because of underage drinking. It is seen as a national concern that leads to tragic deaths. Congress had raised the drinking age to 21 despite states wanting to keep it at 18. Our government should keep the drinking age at 21 because it saves more lives.
The Government Should keep the drinking age at 21 because keeping it at that age would save more lives and reduce alcohol-related car accidents.
“About 88,00 Americans died on average each year from alcohol-related causes from 2006 to 2010” (Lopez). While some states changed their drinking ages from 21 to 18 in the late 1970s however, it saw an increase in fatalities. As a result, the Congress raised the drinking age back to 21 “By the late 1970s, more than half the states in the U.S. had lowered their minimum drinking ages, usually from 21 to 18. “But when research showed an increase in traffic fatalities in these states, state legislatures began to reverse course.
Traffic fatalities aren’t the only results from underage drinking, drinking while underage brings harmful effects and can negatively affect a teen’s developing brain. “Adolescent drinkers not only do worse academically but are also at greater risk for social problems like depression, violence, and suicidal thoughts” (Mooney). According to the author of “A Lower age would be Unsafe” When teens drink, it makes the brain more vulnerable to damage, impairs their thinking, and influences their memory. “Alcohol negatively affects all parts of the brain, include cognitive and decision-making abilities as well as coordination and memory.
” Underage drinking can lead to health problems including liver cirrhosis and alcohol poisoning
Another reason the drinking age should stay at 21 is from higher alcohol taxes, according to German Lopez, the author of, “Sorry, college students, but the drinking age should stay at 21”. raising the alcohol tax reduces binge drinking “A rough rule of thumb is that each 1 percent increase in alcohol price reduces drinking by 0.5 percent” (Lopez). This shows that higher alcohol taxes save more than 1,000 lives. According to Lopez, a report from RAND suggested state-run shops keep prices higher and cut youth access.
Congress should keep the drinking age at 21 because after raising it to that age, the U.S saw a decrease in the number of traffic fatalities and alcohol-related deaths, saving thousands of lives per year. The deaths relating to alcohol decreased from 5,000 in the 1980s to 2,000 in 2005. The other reason is that underage drinking can damage a teen’s brain and affects their decision making. Lowering the drinking age can bring serious consequences such as traffic accidents and alcohol poisoning.
Griggs, Brandon. “Should the U.S. Lower Its Drinking Age.” Https://Www.cnn.com/2014/07/16/Us/Legal-Drinking-Age/Index.html,
Lopez, German. “Sorry, College Students, but the Drinking Age Should Stay at 21.” Vox.com, Vox Media, 19 Jan. 2016, 3:50 p.m., www.vox.com/2016/1/19/10761802/drinking-age
Mooney, Laura Dean. “A Lower Age Would Be Unsafe.” A Lower Age Would Be Unsafe, Laura Dean-Mooney, 8 Sept. 2008, 12:00 p.m, www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2008/09/08/a-lower-age-would-be-unsafe.