Legal Drinking Age Research Paper

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This paper will discuss the legal drinking age in the U.S. and the reasons for it's existence, as well as the issues with changing the minimum legal drinking age due to potential dangers. In addition it will also look at alcohol use amongst minors and the effects it has.
Bray (2005) delves into the connection between human capital, wages, and alcohol use. He uses various equations to show the relationship between these things. Bucholz and Robins (1989) look at alcohol use and it's causes and effects. They use in depth sociological studies as well as surveys. They take care to look into the history behind alcoholism and how it continues to spread through generations. Also examined is media's presentation of alcohol and the
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Dee and Evans (2003) offer statistics from research done under the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS-88). These statistics show that 42% of tenth graders under the NELS-88 study had a drink within the last month, and 23.6% had drunk heavily within the past 2 weeks. Among the studied twelfth graders in 52.1% had a drink within the past month, while roughly 28.8% had drunk heavily (Dee & Evans, 2003). These results from 1990 show that nearly half of American high school students drink, while roughly a quarter identify as heavy drinkers. These statistics considered, were the MLDA to be lowered to allow all eighteen-year-old Americans to drink, it could be safely assumed that 70-75% of high school seniors would drink. In concurrence to the rise in motor fatalities when the MLDA was lowered to eighteen in the 1970s—factoring in the rise in the youth population in America since then—the rate of fatalities due to drunk driving if the MLDA was eighteen in 2016 would be drastically …show more content…
Other than the obvious MLDA, there have been higher taxes put on beer, as well as any vendors being required to have a license. Whereas all vendors must have a license, beer taxes vary per state, making the
Nelson 4 underage drinking rate different in each region (Dee & Evans, 2003). Regrettably, teens seem to be able to find their way around these. Whether they have a person over twenty-one buy the alcohol for them, or steal it from their parents, they always manage to evade restrictions. Another factor working against minors abstaining from drinking is medias portrayal of alcohol. When drinking takes place in films or TV shows it is often displayed as being without consequence (Bucholz & Robins, 1989). This offers up the idea to minors that drinking is all a good time; that nothing bad could possibly come from a little fun.

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