Drinking Age Trend

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When the first taste of adulthood reaches the lips of the newly-turned adult, he wants to experience all the new responsibilities and privileges that come with this stepping stone. In the spur of the moment, he gets a tattoo without his parent’s consent, smokes his first cigarette, and somehow manages to get his hands on a beer. Although he may not be able to legally drink, he gives little thought to the next action he takes: drinking the alcohol. Barely adults, 18-year-olds lack fully developed brains to make clear, rational decisions; however, they now possess the opportunities to engage in marriage and join the military. Adding the ability to drink alcohol with these newfound prospects for 18-year-olds will negatively affect society. The …show more content…
During the early 1970’s, many US states lowered their legal drinking age down to 18, 19, and 20 before a research revealed evidence that traffic accidents increased among the youth after lowering the legal drinking age. In result, US citizens advocated to return the legal age back to 21 (Wagenaar and Toomey 1). If this event recurs, the trend for more accidents among newly-legal drinkers, 18 in this case, will most likely veer back to the younger ages and from this, more car accidents and fatalities will occur. Leaving the legal age at 21, on the other hand, prevents these early adults from causing more alcohol-related auto accidents. Moreover, the proclivity for more accidents increases around any age for newly-legal drinkers, regardless if the age is 18 or 21. Currently, the Minimum Legal Drinking Age (MLDA) starts at 21. Established in 1988, this law has not only saved over 25,000 lives, but also the number of auto-related accidents for 18-20 year olds decreased by 13% (Procon.org). Restricting the legal drinking age at 21 and up prevents the trend of car crashes from shifting downward. Besides a decrease in car accidents among new adults, a MLDA of 21 will also save many lives. Furthermore, if the US lowered the legal age to 18, the trend of traffic accidents will lower in age, and consequently, auto-related deaths and fatalities …show more content…
Admittedly, 18 year olds cross over into a new chapter by turning this age and they should have a perspective in alcohol consumption; however, their decisions should also take into account the effects of drinking. The brain does not stop developing until they reach their late 20’s, so their decisions can still contain rashness and immaturity. By consuming alcohol at a younger age when the brain continues to grow, consequences to the brain development include addiction, impulsive behaviors, reduced decision-making ability, and depression (Procon.org). Drinking alcohol causes copious medical consequences to the brain. This act could also possibly, create long-term damage to the brain and increase the potential for chronic problems like addiction and memory loss. Nevertheless, alcohol also interferes with the brain’s frontal lobes that regulate emotion, planning, and organization (Procon.org). At 18, the mindset may think it is an adult, but the brain still needs time to mature and develop. If alcohol damages the brain to the extent of impaired planning and decision-making skills, the US should not lower the MLAA down to 18. Furthermore, newly-turned adults should not have the opportunity to make decisions involving their brain when their own brain has yet to fully understand the medical

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