The 1984 National Minimum Drinking Age Act which prohibits the drinking of alcohol by people below the age of 21 has been amended. With this development, individuals who are 18 years of age are now legally allowed to drink. This has sparked controversy between supporters and critics. While others see this as a practical and logical thing to do, some groups are concerned on the negative effects of lowering the drinking age can bring.
List of Pros of Lowering the Drinking Age to 18
1. Legal Age.
In the United States, persons who have reached the age of 18 are already considered adults and should be independent. This is one of the issues proponents point out about lowering the drinking age to 18. For them, if persons are allowed to join military service, drive cars and get married at 18, they should also be permitted to drink alcoholic beverages at this age.
2. Sense of Responsibility.
People who are in favor of the new drinking age limit posit that allowing persons to drink at the age of 18 give these young adults the chance to be more responsible and have a sense of maturity. By letting individuals decide for themselves instead of dictating on what they can and cannot do, the thrill of getting intoxicated, for example, will be insignificant. At the end of the day, the lowered drinking age is a good thing.
3. Form of Recreation.
Drinking is an enjoyable activity and also a social one. Proponents say that this should not be denied from 18 year olds since they are also allowed to do other activities legally. Also, legally allowing them to drink will keep them from drinking in different places just so they can hide it.
List of Cons of Lowering the Drinking Age to 18
1. Risky and Dangerous.
Critics of lowering the drinking age argue that some young people who are 18 or even 21 are not mature enough and letting them drink can expose them to risks like car accidents and other risks. It can also endanger young women who will be allowed to drink with young men just like in parties and gatherings. Some are concerned that if these young people can drink too much and end being sexually assaulted.
2. Drug Use.
According to a peer review, when an individual learns to drink alcohol at a young age, he or she is more likely to try illegal drugs. For opponents, letting individuals drink at a younger age, like 18 instead of 21, can also encourage them to experiment on drugs.
3. Alcohol Access of Younger People.
Another setback of lowering the minimum age limit of drinking is its availability to much younger people. Twenty-one year old individuals also have younger friends who ask them to get alcohol for them. With the lowered drinking age, it is possible for 18 year-old individuals to buy alcohol for even younger people.
Despite the advantages of lowering the drinking age of individuals, there are also disadvantages that come with it. Even when the age limit for drinking was for 21 year-old individuals, the issue on drinking age was already a contentious topic. What is important is for people to know its pros and cons to make the right judgment.
Crystal Lombardo is a contributing editor for Vision Launch. Crystal is a seasoned writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience. She has been an editor of three popular blogs that each have had over 500,000 monthly readers.