The legal age to drink should not fit into the common controversial topics that Americans have argued over for decades. It is blatantly obvious that when President Ronald Reagan made the legal drinking age 21, it was the right decision. The legal drinking age should remain at 21 for the entire nation and many reasons back this statement up.
“I agree with Reagan in the fact that the legal drinking age should be 21,” junior Andy Dicken said. “It is like the domino effect. Currently, 18 year olds drink. Lowering the age will cause even younger kids to drink.”
Lowering the drinking age to anything under 21 would be detrimental for many reasons. One reason is that brains can be severely damaged by alcohol, especially if they are not fully developed. According to Karen MacPherson in “National Drinking Age of 21 Successful, Popular,” “Research indicates that the brain continues to develop until age 21, and young brains can be irreversibly damaged by alcohol.” Lowering the drinking age would be like saying that it is all right for young people to ruin their brains. This fact proves that if younger people are allowed to drink, then more and more of them have the chance to have brain malfunctions and become brain dead.
First-year Kyler Kearby said: “We all have heard news stories about 19 year olds becoming alcoholics, which is an outrage. Obviously any age under 21 is not old enough for a person’s mind to be fully developed enough to make drinking decisions.”
Letting younger people drink is giving immature citizens more of the ability to make bad decisions that not only affect themselves but can also be very harmful to others. According to the American Medical Association in the article “Addressing the Minimum Legal Drinking Age in College Communities,” “the laws have saved an estimated 20,000 lives since states began implementing them in 1975, and they’ve decreased the number of alcohol-related youth fatalities among drivers by 63 percent since 1982.” If the number of alcohol-related youth fatalities has dropped by 63 percent, then that means the number of innocent drivers who get hit by drunk drivers has also increased significantly. These facts and statistics are proving that ever since Reagan signed the age-21-to-drink law, that this law has proved to be beneficial to Americans.
First-year Kurt Foster said: “I don’t understand why people think that they must begin drinking at such young ages; especially when they look around and see all the people close to them being hurt and even killed by the consequences of alcohol.”
Every state has the right to set its own drinking age. However, according to George F. Will in the article “Drinking Age Paradox,” “lowering the drinking age will cost the state ten percent of its federal highway funds and cause significant uproar from contractors and construction unions.” Therefore, not only are the statistics pointing toward detrimental effects if the drinking age were to be lowered, but state’s funds also would be affected by such a decision.
The obvious recommendation is to keep the drinking age at 21, because this allows people extra time to let their brains develop both physically and mentally.
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