The legal drinking age in the United States of America is 21 years old. The current situation in the country with this law has got a critical stance. Some people are strongly convinced that the drinking age should be lowered to 18 years old. They have their arguments and state that the law that limits young people in the consumption of alcohol does not work. On the other hand, there are people who support the current law and provide their arguments in order to escape the lowering of the legal drinking age to 18. Despite the fact that some people think that young people have the right to vote at 18, it does not mean that they should have the right to drink alcohol. The drinking age should not be lowered as it could lead to the increase of such negative consciences as car crashes, youth violence, alcohol abuse among teenagers and others.
There are many reasons that indicate the harmful effect of alcohol on the human beings. Alcohol is a drink that causes the serious dependence and can lead to social and health problems. The consumption of alcohol is especially dangerous for the young generation. Many car crashes that occur on the roads are directly related to the alcohol consumption. The situation with young drivers is dangerous in the country. The statistics clearly indicates that teenagers are less responsible drivers than those who are over 25. “In 2010, the highest drunk driving rates were found amongst those ages 21 to 25 (23.4%), and 18 to 20 (15.1%). After age 25, the drunk driving rates decreases” (Nagin). As a rule, many teenagers use their cars for entertainment rather than for transportation needs. Consequently, many young people drink while driving. Lowering the legal drinking age can undermine the public safety on the roads.
The legal access of young drivers to alcohol will only increase the car crashes statistics due to the drunk driving. According to the recent statistics the number of young drivers who were caught drunk by the police has increased by 15 percent (Millward). It is the significant evidence which demonstrates that government should keep alcohol from young people as far away as possible. Some experts claim that many countries in Europe have the legal drinking age lower than that in the United States. They use this argument and emphasize that those countries do not experience the significant problems associated with drunk driving incidents. However, it is necessary to keep in mind that Europeans more often use public transport than Americans. Moreover, the government of European countries encourages people to use bikes as an alternative transport. As a result, Europe experiences fewer problems with car crashes.
The other reason why alcohol should be banned for people under the age of 21 is a violent or destructive behavior that tends to increase with the consumption of alcohol. Alcohol ruins the ability of the brain to think clearly and wisely. It changes the behavior from normal to negative. It is especially expressed in young people who are not able to withstand the alcohol influence. Alcohol changes the structure of the brain in young weak body. In this age, people tend very quickly to change their behavior from positive to aggressive under the influence of alcohol. The evidence of this is an increase of cases of date rape. The decent percent of those cases occur when adolescents are drunk. “75 percent of male students and 55 percent of female students involved in date rape had been drunk or using drugs” (Nagin). Under the impact of alcohol, young people cannot see changes in their behavior. They act with elements of violence and cannot even notice that.
Some people are convinced that drinking law does not work in the United States. Partly, it is true. However, in most cases people who are under 21 years old do not have free access to alcohol. Lowering the drinking age would allow all of them to buy alcohol without any barriers. Moreover, under this law, the alcohol became closer to teenagers. People who are from 18 to 21 years old are influenced by the behavior of people who are older than them. People who are 18 have the same impact on teenagers. If the people who are 18 years old would get the legal access to the alcohol drinks, it automatically increases the risk of alcohol consumption among teenagers.
There is a wrong statement that people who have the right to vote should have the right to drink. The right to vote does not mean that people may drink responsibly. Responsibility comes at the age when people are ready to make their independent choice without the support of adults. Alcohol can distract young people from more serious things. In this age, they actively set their educational and career goals. Alcohol can direct their thoughts to the wrong path. Instead of thinking about their future career, they will be thinking about entertainment. Additionally, alcohol makes more serious effect on people who started drink earlier than others. “Adolescents who begin drinking prior to age 14 are more likely to develop a serious problem with alcohol later in their life” (“Alcohol Alert”). Thus, earlier consumption of alcohol may bring dangerous consequences for the young generation.
Alcohol is a reason of hazardous sexual and violent behaviors, drug abuse, and many car incidents and so on. Alcohol may work as a distractive tool that would direct young people from the important things in their lives. The legal drinking age should not be lowered because it may lead to an increase of crime rate and health problems in the young generation.