Drinking Age: Raising The Fatalities

1824 Words 8 Pages
Lowering the Drinking Age, Raising the Fatalities “Compared with a wide range of other programs and efforts to reduce drinking among teenagers, increasing the legal age for purchase and consumption of alcohol to 21 appears to have been the most successful effort to date,” stated doctors Alexander Wagenaar and Traci Toomey in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol. In 1920, alcohol was forbidden nationwide. This meant that manufacturing and selling alcohol was illegal. This period, more commonly known as Prohibition, ended in 1933. From 1970 to 1975, 29 states lowered their minimum drinking age. The ages were lowered to eighteen, nineteen, or twenty. This caused a rapid increase in alcohol-related fatalities and by 1983, sixteen states raised their …show more content…
Thorough research has shown that the earlier one participates in drinking, the higher they run the risk of developing alcoholism later in life. "...Interventions that delay drinking onset may not only reduce the acute consequences of drinking among youth, but may help reduce alcohol dependence among adolescents and adults. It's an important public health issue for longitudinal research to resolve," concluded Dr. Hingson after reviewing the 2005 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (“Early”). There are many studies that show evidence of an increased alcohol dependence at younger ages. Data from the National Longitudinal Alcohol Epidemiologic Study shows that people who began drinking at eighteen years of age had a 16.6% risk of lifetime alcohol dependence whereas people who began drinking at 21 years of age had a 10.6% risk of lifetime alcohol dependence (“Policy”). Another study, this one conducted by the National Institutes of Health, found that people that start drinking before they turn fifteen are four times more likely to develop alcoholism than those who begin drinking at the legal age of 21 (“Minimum”). Even after taking these points into consideration, there are many people that are for lowering the minimum legal drinking …show more content…
People need to take into consideration that there will always be an issue with people breaking the law. It is naive to believe that by setting a minimum legal drinking age of 21, people under 21 will not consume alcohol. However, by setting a law, teenagers are discouraged from drinking because they are scared of getting caught. Also, as studies have shown, underage drinking levels have been decreasing. According to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, past month drinking rates among twelve to twenty year olds have declined from 28% in 2005 to 23% in 2014. Underage binge drinking rates have also decreased from 19% in 2005 to 14% 2014 (“Underage”). It is safe to say that while underage is an issue, it is an issue that is declining, and assumably from the minimum drinking age law. Also, by lowering the drinking age, alcohol would be more easily accessible for children. Most people are still high school students when they turn eighteen. If they were to be granted the right to drink at this age, illegal distribution of alcohol would be easier to

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