Drinking Age Should Reflect Society Views


The consumption of alcoholic beverages is a privilege, not a right. The legal drinking age in the United States is 21. Many people are in agreement with this legal restriction; some would say it should be raised.

However, the legal drinking age sometimes causes more problems than it prevents. So is 21 the magical age that makes one intelligent and mature enough to consume alcohol? The commonsense is against it; this should be lowered to 18.

First of all, an 18-year-old man or woman in U.S. has the right to vote and serve in the military. If 18-year-old men and women can make up their minds to choose the potential leader of their country and take a weapon in their hands to go fight for their country, they should have the same right to purchase and drink alcohol.

Although the legal purchase age here in the U.S. is 21, a majority of college students under this age consume alcohol, but in an irresponsible manner. This is because drinking by the youth is seen as an enticing “forbidden fruit,” a “badge of rebellion against authority” and a symbol of “adulthood.”

The current prohibition laws are not working perfectly; the need for alternative approaches from the experience of other countries is needed.  For example, in different cultures alcohol is neither seen as a poison nor magic. There is little or no social pressure to drink. Irresponsible behavior is never tolerated and young people learn at home from their parents, and from other adults, how to handle alcohol in a responsible manner.

In most of the cases, there is a societal agreement on what constitutes responsible drinking. I believe that the 21-year-old drinking age law is not working because I have seen thousands of people younger than this “allowed age” get drunk anyways. In some instances, I heard that in order to get into a club they use fake IDs.

I think that the U.S., as a nation, should make some changes to its current prohibition law, and teach responsible drinking techniques for those who choose to consume alcoholic beverages under the age of 21.