Should the Drinking Age be Legalized at 18?


In the United States the legal age to consume alcohol is 21. Even though this is the legal age to drink many young adults find themselves drinking at 18 when most are in their transition to college. I disagree with the legal age being 21 for drinking. The age should be changed because the law contradicts other laws that say 18 is legally an adult.

At 18 you are able to buy a car, rent an apartment, buy tobacco, get married, vote, write a will, work full-time and even adopt a child, however buying alcohol is prohibited. One might ask why are they denied this one right until they are “of age” if an 18-year-old can perform the same acts as someone who is 21. This law of not being able to purchase alcohol contradicts the fact they are lawfully an adult. To be fair and abide by the legislation it would only make sense to allow them their right as it has been stated. If an 18-year-old were to commit a crime they would be charged as an adult so why not give them all of the rights that are rightfully theirs.

I wonder would the government feel more persuaded to change this law if they thought out a way to implement certain boundaries. If those 18-20 years of age where allowed to drink in a monitored environment where their supervision and consumption is regulated then this could help to cut down on the unsafe activities that occur like drunk driving by underage drinkers.  Eleven percent of the alcohol consumption in the U.S. comes from those who are 12 to 20 years of age. Also 4,300 deaths occur a year from underage drinking without supervision and these underage drinkers are taking in more drinks during a drinking occasion than that of someone of the legal age. This change would help those who are underage from sneaking to drink and also it could cut down on unsafe activities that take place without supervision. In those moments where these activities take place it’s due to the lack of supervision and of course anyone that is under the influence is not capable of making sound decisions. Having someone at social gatherings and bars would help to monitor activity.

Most underage drinkers aren’t given the proper knowledge on drinking or even how to drink.  The most underage drinkers will learn is the bit of information that they will receive from their peers which most times the information is false and has been shared without proper knowledge on the subject. At this age young adults are already tempted to test these social boundaries and by teaching those dangers of alcohol consumption and what to do when they encounter them will only help to improve their responsibility. Keeping the conversation open will allow this transition to be taken more seriously.

By changing the legal drinking age to 18 the government would help to implement proper alcohol consumption, reduce the number of unsafe activity and also abide by laws that are already in place that state those 18 years of age are considered adults. Most times these underage drinkers are already preforming the illegal act of drinking and if they are caught by authorities they would be charged as an adult which is why the law change would ethically make sense.