In the United States there is a major controversy about the legal drinking. In 1986 Congress passed the law that all states must have the minimum drinking age from eighteen years old to twenty-one years of age (Hyde and Setaro 32). Many people believe that the legal drinking age should be lowered to eighteen years of age. Others, insist on keeping the legal drinking age at a minimum of twenty-one years old. The drinking age should not be lowered to eighteen years old because the teenagers performance in school will decrease, younger teenagers are more inclined to experiment drinking, and by keeping the minimum drinking age to twenty-one decreases the number of crime and drug use. First, if the age of drinking alcohol is lowered to a younger age the teenagers performance in school will decrease.
By lowering the age most teenagers will begin to suffer from alcohol related problems. Over a period of time the drinking of alcohol will interfere with them academically and psychologically (Hyde and Setaro 34). Students will start to slack off and not care about their responsibility in going to school and doing their school work. The teenagers grades will begin to decrease drastically and the student's image of college will also decline (Hyde and Setaro 34). Second of all, many researchers believe that by lowering the age to eighteen years old, alcohol will be highly available to even younger teenagers.
The behavior of an eighteen year old is usually very influential on younger teens from 15-17 years of age (Hyde and Setaro 35). Younger teenagers tend to mimic the behavior of a person who is near their age opposed to someone who much older than they are (Hyde and Setaro 35). Therefore, an eighteen year olds younger siblings or peers will drink too. Research has found that the lower the age of drinking the more greater the chance that a teenager will acquire a drinking disorder in the future (Hyde and Setaro 34).
Alcohol and Health reports, " During the transition years between adolescence and young adulthood there appears to be little continuity in drinking behavior, and drinking level tend to decline substantially by age thirty " (Vogler and Bartz 99). Finally, a problem with teenagers is that they have not yet fully matured and not able to have good judgment, even when sober. Alcohol causes a persons judgment to become even worse (Vogler and Bartz 98). Jim Hall, Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, agrees with the legal drinking age at twenty-one and states, "State age-21 laws are one of the most effective public policies ever implemented to the Nation... ." (Jim Hall 34). At the age of eighteen, most teenagers believe that that's the age of maturing and independence.
When having an alcohol beverage in their hands they believe that they can do what they please because of the fact that at their age they are now "independent." Studies have shown that the manner of drinking at a certain age will be much different than at a later age because of the lack of maturity (Vogler and Bartz 99). Usually teenagers are more active and daring than most adults and are easily prone to accidents (Vogler and Bartz 98). By increasing the age to 21 years old it has decreased the number of drunk driving and fatal accidents. Another concern of teenagers is how alcohol has a close association to drugs and usually when someone drinks, illegal drugs, such as marijuana, are associated (O'Malley and Johnson 85-93). Also, when the legal drinking age was increased, the number of arrest called DUI (driving under the influence) reduced (Hyde and Setaro 35). As stated above, the drinking age should not be lowered to eighteen years old, but should be kept at a minimum drinking age of 21 years old.
This is because the performance of the teenagers will decrease in school, much younger teenagers are inclined to experiment drinking alcohol at a younger age, and by having the minimum drink age at 21 years old it reduces the number crime and drug usage. Most importantly, the teenager's grades will decrease and the academic work will not be done. Also, alcohol will be more available to much younger teenagers because of their older siblings or friends. The younger the drinking age the greater the chance is for a teenager to acquire a drinking disorder in the future. Lastly, because teenagers have not yet fully matured and tend to have bad judgment, the legal drinking age was made 21 years old. By increasing the age, it lowered the number of arrest, illegal drugs such as marijuana, fatal accidents and crime.
In conclusion, it is essential that the drinking age should not be lowered to a younger age. Teenagers are not reliable enough to make their own decision in this situation, therefore, someone should make it for them until they reach a reasonable age.