What I think about Lowering the Age of Alcohol Use

Exposure is how everyone learns and experience new things, You can’t make up your mind on something when you’ve never seen, heard, smelled, or touched something. The exposure to a new thing opens your eyes more and more and gives you more of an understanding of things and where you stand as far as what is done with such things. That is why i believe a good solution is to lowering the drinking age.

The two ideas I am proposing, one is to lower the drinking age to 18, and give the option for adults to supervise their teen if they are between the age of 16 – 18 if they wish to allow their child to drink. Doing this would give teens a good amount of exposure to what drinking is like and how they feel about it.

One way or another teens will do what they want, and that includes drinking underage. If the law was changed teens all over could stop hiding all of their belongings and it would bring an enormous amount of relief from all parties now that there is no legal risk. This would also give the protection of teens because the adult can watch and make sure nothing goes wrong, where as most teens have to hide it and also risk doing something stupid that they shouldn’t have done that could cost their life or someone else’s. In the survey me and my partners made 65 out of 100 teen in between 9-12 grade said that they have drank or still do. 24 of the 65 were seniors meaning that about a third of the group that drinks.

An overwhelming amount of teens drink even though it is illegal. According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, underage drinking accounts for 17.5% ($22.5 billion) of consumer spending for alcohol in the United States. The 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that 24.8% of youth aged 14 or 15, 46.7% aged 16 or 17, and 68.3% aged 18 to 20, drink alcohol. This just goes to show that teens are going to do it regardless of the law.

My parents, their friends and Officer Paguli all thought that my proposal was reasonable and could possibly work. So taking my proposal could make this action by teens legal and allow an adult to supervise their actions. To test this proposal we can go to a couple different counties and cities and change the law to our proposal. If we give it about 10 to 15 years it would give the law time to change fully settle and show how much can be done. After the 10 to 15 years I expect to see that the alcohol has found its spot just like cigarettes did. Where there is a select group that binge drinks at a consistent rate, and then there is the rest that rarely do it if at all.

A huge draw back of this proposal is that right after this law is introduced their will be an extremely large amount of teens drinking for the first time and way more often than others. There is also a higher probability of teens making stupid decisions such as breaking stuff or drinking and driving. In the United States, 31% of road traffic deaths involve alcohol. This percentage is higher than many countries with a drinking age lower than 21 such as France (29%), Great Britain (16%), Germany (9%), China (4%), and Israel (3%).

Although the United States increased the MLDA to 21 in 1984, its rate of traffic accidents and fatalities in the 1980s decreased less than that of European countries whose legal drinking ages are lower than 21. None of these things are good but the statistics show that have the countries with lower drinking ages have lower accident rates than the US which has a legal drinking age of 21. No Matter what the legal drinking age is it does not protect people from who want to drink and drive. If they are going to drink and drive they are going to do it no matter what the legal age is so having it at 18 or 21 doesn’t matter. The law does not protect other people from drinking and driving.

I believe this would only be a temporary issue that would only last a few years and once we get into the later years of the testing things will smooth out. Federal law would give the states the option to support or not support this law. Federal law would ensure that all states follow this law and it will make it easier to keep track of the the progress of all the people.

My solution would be the one that works because I am surrounded by my peers, I know how they feel about drinking and i understand how they feel about the current laws and how they would do it differently. If the legal age was lowered, More people would legally be able to drink in bars, restaurants, and other licensed establishments. Revenue would increase for private business owners, and greater amounts of tax revenue would be collected by the government. My peers want to drink and they want to party and this proposal would do exactly what they needed it to do. It gives them full control over the alcohol and gives everybody a chance to try without having to worry about getting in trouble.

Normalizing alcohol consumption as something done responsibly in moderation will make drinking alcohol less of a taboo for young adults entering college and the workforce. This would also lead to safer and regulated alcohol consumption instead of binge drinking and hiding it because it is illegal.

In my interview with Officer Pigula i asked him questions about teen drinking. He believes that the law is good where it is right now, but he would not be opposed to the law being changed to that. “I’m comfortable with where it is right now, but i would not be opposed to it being changed to 18.” Even though the law did not go along with the idea with adult supervision over teens while they drink. Officer Pigula said that theoretically he agrees with letting a legal guardian or parent supervise teens drinking alcohol, but criminally it is illegal and if he had to deal with a case of teen drinking his hands are tied and wouldn’t be able to help them.

I also asked Officer Pigula what he thought about the effects of alcohol, or have a effect on you if you drink at a younger age. “I don’t think drinking itself will have a negative effect, but posting pictures and videos of it could.” As a teen when i do something illegal i want to keep it between as few people as possible and i’d think that my peers feel the same so taking videos or pictures is almost out of the question to me.

When you turn 18 your whole life changes, you are allowed to do so much more that you weren’t before. You are seen as a legal adult at the age of 18 but alcohol is the one exception for things you can do once your 18. You can enroll in the military and risk your life to keep our country safe but you aren’t allowed to have any form of alcohol. You are allowed to vote for who will run the country, but you’re not allowed to crack a cold one with the boys. You can even buy cigarettes at 18 something that has been proven to cause several different types of cancer and do serious damage to a human’s body.