Alcohol consumption has been argued over for decades. Whether people should start drinking at age 18, 21, or any other predetermined age is based strictly on statistics and proven facts. The three sides to this argument all have valid points, some believe that it should stay the same, others say it should be lowered, and others say military personal should have the right to consume alcohol at 18. Current laws state that no one under 21 can buy or consume alcohol. Should the drinking age be lowered to 18?
In the 1980s debate heated up about the drinking age. A committee was established by President Reagan called the Presidential Commission Against Drunk Driving(PCDD). It was established on April 14, 1982 in an effort to help reduce the number of alcohol related incidents on the road. They came up with 39 recommendations for reasons to raise the drinking age. "Recommendation number eight concerned the Minimum Legal Purchasing age, and said that all states should raise their drinking age to 21, lest they lose a certain percentage of federal highway dollars" ( choose responsibility). The federal government was basically bribing the states to lower their drinking ages. Each state has reserved powers but the federal government made it tough for them not to lower it. The right to lower or raise the drinking age is one of the states reserved powers. When they did this only a number of states had lowered their drinking ages. Teens now got into their cars and drove to other states to drink. This caused much controversy, so in an effort to stop this President Reagan signed the National Minimum drinking age in 1984, which made a national minimum drinking age of 21. (chooseresponsibility) The debate has raised back up in recent years, many college Presidents are promoting the age to be lowered. This is because of the drinking on and off-campus' done by many college students. In this case college Presidents just want to get it out of their hands so they won't have to deal with it.
Lowering the drinking age from 21 brings about many problems. The government strictly believes having the drinking age at 21 has saved lives. Studies have shown that they were able to drastically decrease the number of deaths both on and off the roads. "And since the 21 law was widely enacted, the number of young people killed annually in crashes involving drunk drivers under 21 has been cut in half, from more than 5,000 individuals in the early 1980's to around 2,000 in 2005. By the end of 2005, the 21 drinking age had saved nearly 25,000 American lives-approximately 1,000 lives a year." (lower age would be unsafe) The main argument against lowering the drinking age is an overwhelming amount of younger teens are binge drinking. People are scared that lowering the age will encourage teens to drink and keep drinking, thinking that is acceptable. Lowering the age leaves room for many long term effects on younger people. Research shows that when a teen consumes an alcoholic drink it negatively effects the brain. The brain continues to develop until an adolescents is 20 years of age. Every drink they take the greater the risk they have for medical problems such as depression, suicide, violence, social problems as well as alcoholism as an adult.
A person of the age 18 can go serve in the military, buy weapons and vote, why shouldn't he be able to drink as well? This is where the third side of the argument falls into place. Many people believe that if you serve in the military that you should be able to have an alcoholic drink.
The current age limitation on alcohol is the one that operates the best and should be kept. Although many teens find ways to drink the statistics show a drastic fall in the number of deaths over the years related to alcohol.