Debate:Should the drinking age be 18?

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Background

Prohibition was an effort to control alcohol consumption in the United States. The advocates for prohibition felt that some men drank excessively resulting in the family's assets being mis-spent, increased incidents of domestic violence and greater disease and loss of productive labor. Prohibition bagan in the United States in January 1920, when the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution went into effect, and was repealed in December, 1933, with the ratification of the Twenty-First Amendment. However, the Twenty-First Amendment left regulation of alcohol in the hands of the states. Most states adopted laws on the minimum age at which people could be served or purchase alcohol. Following the lowering of the voting age to 18 by the 26th Amendment, 29 states lowered the drinking age below 21.

In response to concerns about drunk driving and the fact that many people under 18 obtained alcohol when the age was set at 18, Congress enacted the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 (23 U.S.C. § 158) which withheld 8 per cent of federal highway construction funds for states that allow the sale of alcohol to people under the age of 21. The U.S. became one of only four developed countries in the world that has a nationwide drinking age of over 18, with the other three being South Korea (19), Iceland (20), and Japan (20). Congress spent $25 million each year on funding state programs to address under age drinking.[1] This law was unpopular, and advocacy groups have restarted the debate in each state as to what the minimum drinking age should be.[2]

Pro

If a person is old enough to vote and to die defending his country, he or she should be trusted to purchase and use alcohol responsibly.

The prohibition of public consumption of alcohol and the purchase of alcohol has led to teenage binge drinking and to drinking having a mystique amoung people below 21.

More laws means less liberty. At some point, a person should be considered adult and make the proper choices without help from government. 18 seems a reasonable age considering eligibility for the draft. --Jpatt 21:12, 17 April 2016 (EDT)


Con

After the adoption of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 highway traffic deaths were reduced.[3] but advocates argue that this was due to better DWI enforcement and safer cars.

References

  1. Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Program (CFDA Number: 16.727). Retrieved on April 17, 2016.
  2. Two U.S. States Might Lower The Drinking Age From 21. Retrieved on April 17, 2016.
  3. http://www.madd.org/underage-drinking/why21/