Should the legal age be lowered to 18? Back in the 1960's and early 70's a number of states lowered their drinking age from 21 to 18. Research documented a significant increase in highway deaths of the teens affected by these laws. In the early 80's the law began to increase the age back to 21. Highway fatalities in teenage deaths in fatal car crashes dropped considerable -in some cases up to 28%- when the laws moved back up to 21. I t is clear that more young people were killed on the highways when the drinking age was 18. (MADD) Use of alcohol and other drugs is associated with the leading causes of death and injury (motor-vehicle accidents, homicides, and suicides) among teenagers and young adults.

(CDC) Alcohol abuse can cause immature teens to have bad judgement toward their futures, regarding education, job skills or just in life. I personally have seen how alcohol abuse can affect your life. My ex-husband is an alcoholic. He had a ninth grade education, numerous motor-vehicle accidents, disrespectful to his loved ones, inability to hold jobs for long periods of time and became depressed with suicidal incidents. He is continuing to battle with this disease today. Both his parents are deceased due to the effects of alcoholism.

His father committed suicide and his mother died from Hepatitis C and lung cancer. I believe that alcoholism is hereditary. I pray to GOD that he will help me guide my 5-year-old daughter away from this damaging disease. People who begin drinking before age 15 are four times as likely to develop alcohol dependence and more than twice as likely to develop alcohol abuse than those who delay drinking until the age of 21. (Scope of Underage Drinking) Grade point averages drop among those students who choose to drink. They tend to loose respect for themselves and others.

Among teenagers who binge drink, 39% say they drink alone; 58% drink when they are upset; 30% drink when they are bored; and 37% drink to feel high. (National Council on Alcoholism) These statistics lead back to the leading cause of death among teenagers, motor-vehicle accidents, homicides and suicides. I do not want to see the drinking age lowered. I would like to see tougher laws and consequences concerning teenage drinking.

Work Cited "Youth Alcohol and other Drugs"; National Council on Alcoholism; 1991; web > "Why 21?" ; MADD online; 1999; http: web > "Scope of Underage Drinking"; Grant and Dawson, 1997; http: / web.