Essay The Legal Drinking Age Analysis

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Alcohol is a prominent feature of America’s culture and is well enjoyed when used appropriately. Unfortunately, many fail to adhere to the laws put in place to ensure proper use and often fail to recognize their benefits. One law, in particular, being the legal drinking age. In the United States, the minimum legal drinking age is 21. According to David Hanson of the New York State University in Potsdam, it was officially changed July 17, 1984 when President Ronald Reagan signed the National Minimum Legal Drinking Age Act (Hanson “Minimum Legal Drinking Ages Around the World”). To guarantee states’ compliance with the law, Congress punished any state that chose to maintain their below 21 legal drinking age with a …show more content…
Donald Veeland, head of the University of Michigan’s Substance Abuse Center states, “Magic bullets do not work for any problem or issue involving human beings,” (qtd. in Hempelman 185). Problems such as underage drinking or drunk driving cannot be fixed easily. Obviously the current legal drinking age will not solve these issues in their entirety, but it has helped a considerable amount. The minimum legal drinking age of 21 has lowered the rate of underage drinkers. Since the National Minimum Legal Drinking Age was put in effect in 1984, the percentage of underage drinkers has decreased 11% (Scott 116). Several studies were conducted by the National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism which revealed that with the minimum legal drinking age at 21, underage people drank less and continued to drink less into their early 20s (National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism). Youth that waited until they were 21 to consume alcohol drank less as adults (National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism). Additionally, the current legal drinking age lowers the average person’s alcohol intake. During a meta-study that took place in 2002, 87% of the tests found that higher drinking ages resulted in lower alcohol consumption (National Highway Traffic Safety Association 5). Weekend drivers’ blood alcohol content has also dropped considerably. The percentage of nighttime weekend

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