Henry Wechsler Lowering The Drinking Age

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In a recent commentary article written by Henry Wechsler, he discusses the topic of lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18 years old. Wechsler states many studies and research of previous attempts that have been made and the different ways that they have been unsuccessful. For example, in 1970 some states alcohol consumption laws had been changed to 18 years of age but when states lowered their drinking age restriction, the amount of alcohol-involved traffic accidents increased (1). After seeing higher alcohol induced accidents and greater alcohol consumption rates, many states reinstated the minimum legal drinking age of 21 years (1). Wechsler’s position on this topic is very strong and supported by several studies and I would have to agree …show more content…
“Although heavy drinking among older adolescents and young adults has declined over the past decade, no such declines have occurred among college students (2). College officials have recently been more interested in reducing the drinking age due to the amount of drinking happening on college campuses and not enough faculty to enforce the laws. “As of November 2009, presidents and chancellors of 135 colleges and universities have signed on to the Amethyst Initiative calling for a public debate about lowering the drinking age” (5). College officials argue that having the law at 21 years old is not being effective enough to prevent youths from consuming alcohol and suffering the negative consequences of drinking. Enforcement of alcohol policies at most colleges is limited, and college environments already have easy access to low cost alcohol so giving them even more access to alcohol would result in many dangerous consequences. Increasing prices of alcoholic beverages and implementing responsible beverage service policies at on and off campuses could be a big improvement on the binge drinking happening on …show more content…
Because of this, change in the drinking age has become the most studied and argued topic when it comes to alcohol control policy. This has allowed researchers to study and report the different effects of the difference in policies and come to some reliable conclusions (5). One of the more popular studies showed that 58% fewer crashes were associated with higher drinking age whereas no study found fewer crashes associated with a lower minimum drinking age (6). Having the legal drinking age be 21 has saved more than 800 lives annually among young adults just in the United States (6). Wechsler persuaded all readers to take a second look at the consequences that could occur with lowering the drinking age. His arguments were logical and used real data to show different scenarios. “There is no scientific evidence to suggest that a lower minimum legal drinking age would create conditions for responsible drinking or would lead young adults aged 18-20 years old to make healthy decisions about drinking” (6). Wechsler’s evidence shows that making alcohol available to a younger group of adolescents will increase drinking consumption levels and related harms that may come along with

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