Lowering the Drinking Age
In 1984, Congress passed the National Minimum Purchase Age Act, to encourage each state to enact a minimum legal purchase age of 21 by 1986 for the purchasing of alcohol. As a result, an estimated 1,071 lives were saved in the year 1987 alone. (Hall) Ever since that act has gone into play, there has been a decreased number of DWI arrests, youth suicides, marijuana use, crime, and alcohol consumption by youths.
Although there is all this evidence showing how many lives we have saved by increasing the drinking age to 21, there are there some people who argue that the drinking age should go back to 18. These people argue that if a person is able to vote, be drafted to fight in a war, and drive a car they should be able to consume alcohol. I guess they just aren’t looking at the big picture and seeing how much the 21-year-old drinking age has helped.
High school seniors who could not legally drink until age 21 drank less before age 21 and between ages 21 - 25 than did seniors in states with lower drinking ages. Similarly, a national survey of 16 - 21 year-olds found that teens from states with a higher legal drinking age
drank less frequently. (Hall) This is significant because for teens, alcohol-impaired drinking is the leading cause of death for teens between the ages 15-19. (Why teens use Alcohol) If there are less teens consuming alcohol, hopefully that will lower the alcohol related deaths in teens.
The younger a person begins using alcohol, the greater chance of developing alcohol dependence or abuse some time in their life. Of those who begin drinking at the age of 18, about 17 percent are classified with alcohol dependency and about 8 percent with alcohol abuse. If a person waits until they are 21 before drinking alcohol, these risks decrease by over 60 percent. (Hall) The earlier a person begins using alcohol, the greater the risk of current and adult drug use and harm to the developing brain....