Minimum Legal Drinking Age

Paper Type: 
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1821 Words
Date:  2021-04-29

The minimum legal drinking age in the United States is 21. The age of 21 has confirmed to save lives and minimize adverse impacts on individuals who drink liquor legally. The age has proven to be safe compared to other countries. Besides, all of the positive outcomes of having this rule set in place, there are many methods that guardians can apply to stop their teens from using alcohol. The proof of the minimum alcohol consumption age of 21 saving adolescents lives is tremendously accurate. Congress declined to provide funding for highways to state that did not abide by raising the minimum age of alcohol consumption to 21 back in 1984. This paper summarizes a considerable and convincing body of typical evidence that shows that increasing the minimum legal drinking age to 21 unmistakably minimizes drinking and its significant effects.

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Since the raising of the minimum legal alcohol consumption age to 21 in 1984, critical accidents among youths have reduced by twenty percent. The congresss plan of declining highway dollars to those states was sufficient to make them abide by the rule. President Ronald Reagan endorsed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act on July 17, 1984 under pressure from lobbyists and alliances such as MADD (Mothers against Drunk Driving) (Barnett 2013). Signing the Act successfully raised the drinking age to 21 years old.

States that have strict regulations on the use of forged identification to buy alcohol demonstrate a direct association to decreased alcohol-related victims amongst youths under age 21. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approximation reveals that raising the legal drinking age has saved about 27,000 children. About 5,000 young adults under the age of 21 die every year due to alcohol associated accidents in which 1700 of the 5,000 youths are students in college. Three hundred people die from suicides while 1,600 die from homicides caused by alcohol consumption.

The adverse impacts of alcohol consumption before the age of 21 are confirmed and documented. Spree alcohol consumption is a key problem with young adults, especially college students (Richard et al. 2013). It is not essential that anyone who starts using alcohol before age 21 will consume alcohol more often later, although they will drink excessively after the first drink. The likelihoods of becoming a spree drinker in future are higher for those who begin to drink before reaching age 21.

Youths who consume alcohol before their 21st birthday are more likely to be involved in risky behavior for example driving a motor vehicle under the influence, having multiple sexual partners, having unprotected sex (Scrivo, 1998). This leads to an enormous number of sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies among youths (Wagenaar et al. 1994). Females have a difficult time finishing complex responsibilities when they start drinking at an early age while males have a hard time concentrating.

The USA has a higher minimum age of alcohol consumption when compared to other countries, and it reveals that it is helpful. New Zealand reduced the minimum alcohol consumption age from 20 to 18 and realized that decreasing the age has its impacts. They realized an increase in risky behaviors and injuries among youths who drink. (Brownfield etal. 2003).

European nations have an extreme severe problem when it comes to spree drinking. Europeans usually have their first alcohol at around the age of 14 years old. Even though they are not forced into consuming alcohol at an adolescent age, it is more available and healthy for European youths to drink alcohol at a young age. Approximately 10% of Europeans are connected to bad health or early death because of alcohol consumption. The comparatively cheap costs of lower quality alcoholic drinks are a primary contributor in why young Europeans drink excessively.

There are several grounds as to why teenagers choose to drink alcohol. Some consume so as to fit into a gang, and they think they do not have an option but to drink to blend in. Others do it to relax after school or even during the weekend, testing and to feel like grown-ups. 42 percent of adolescences say that they drink since they see it in media and TV shows. Teenagers between ages 12-17 who watch "R" rated films at least thrice a month are 7 times likely to drink alcohol than those who do not. Tediousness is another issue in teenagers drinking alcohol; some teens cannot endure being lonely and have a difficult time keeping themselves busy while still longing an adrenaline rush (Dagupta, 2011).

The risky behavior and excitements a teenager gets by using alcohol is practically never known as having any aftermaths that can come with it. The expectation a teenager has about liquor defines whether they will decide on drinking. If an adolescent feels that with using alcohol comes relaxation and good times, they are more expected to drink alcohol than those with negative expectations about alcohol. The positive part of drinking alcohol is what teenagers are most perceptive to, for instance, feeling at ease in a social setting. Adolescents with such behavior characteristics are more susceptible to using alcohol than others. Those who are withdrawn, anxious, aggressive, disruptive, or depressed, are in more danger of having alcohol problems.

Genetic factors hugely determine whether a youngster will become an alcohol dependent. Those children who have close alcoholics relatives are between ten times more expected to become an alcohol dependent, than a child, that has no close alcoholic relatives. Children raised by alcoholics are more likely to commence using alcohol at an earlier age than those who are raised in an alcoholic family. Studies have shown particular chromosomes areas in alcoholics families, which relate to being an alcohol-dependent; however genes do not indeed tell ultimately the reason children start to consume alcohol.

Moreover, environmental factors are another reason youths can decide to use alcohol before they are lawfully allowed. For instance, parents who hold parties and invite friends over for drinks set an example for their children. Media and alcohol advertising is everywhere and is to blame for adolescents drinking so young. The surroundings these children are raised in make it look like using alcohol is ok.

Preventing underage alcohol consumption during the developmental stage is an essential thing a guardian can do. When children are experiencing rapid transition phases, social and cultural factors strongly influence their behaviors, and this can be the best period to intervene. Scientists are to trace a single gene that could foretell the alcohol use later in one's life. Environmental factors and parents that have the most control on whether or not a kid will drink alcohol, but if drunkenness is in the genes, the youngster is more likely going to consume alcohol.


In comparison with a wide range of efforts and programs to minimize alcohol consumption among adolescents, raising the minimum legal age for buying and using alcohol to 21 seems to be the most fruitful effort (Moskowitz [1989] and Gorman and Speer [1996]). The degree of consequences of the age-21 rule can look small, especially in studies employing weak research methods and having inadequate statistical power levels. On the other hand, even modest effects harnessed to the entire youth population bring about large societal advantages. As from 1975, there has been decreasing in traffic victims as a result of legal drinking age of about 13%.

Annotated Bibliography

Wagenaar, Alexander C. and Mark Wolfson. Enforcement of the Legal Minimum Drinking Age in the United States. Journal of Public Health Policy. 15.1. Spring 1994. Retrieved March 22, 2011 from

This analysis, done by public health campaigners, assists to understand the outcome of raising the minimum legal drinking age in America to twenty-one years of age. In addition, the authors give information concerning adolescent education and drinking alcohol, both of which are important in this study. Teenage drinking is instigated by rules that permit persons aged 18 and above to use alcohol. The article ultimately attempts to clarify that teenage drinking, along with other public health matters (for instance traffic accidents and liver problems) to have reduced. I will use this article to emphasize some explanations why the legal drinking age should be raised and how early drinking habits have a negative impact on teenagers education and health

Barnett, Nancy P. The Minimum Drinking Age Debate. DATA: The Brown University Digest Of Addiction Theory & Application 27.11 (2008): 8. Academic Search Complete. Web. 5 May 2013.

In this article, Barnett examines the Amethyst Initiative, a society comprising of 130 college chancellors and presidents who initiated a movement to review the legal drinking age in America. She remarks that these chancellors and presidents claim that the minimum drinking age ought to be reduced since adolescents could be imparted at a younger age to use alcohol responsibly, instead of intensifying binge drinking chances when a youth reaches the age of 21. Even though Barnett acknowledges the argument for dropping the drinking age, she moreover considers the argument against the proposition. She comments that one primary concern that the Amethyst Initiative should take is that reducing the drinking age might create a drip of setbacks with adolescents younger than 18. One more concern is that the brain is still developing during adolescence. Barnett mentions that there is an understanding between the two enthusiasts that using alcohol at a young age establishes dangerous conditions and operational prevention policies should be recognized and applied. I will use this article to emphasize some explanations why the legal drinking age should be raised and some reasons for a counterargument.

Brownfield, Kylie, Kumari Fernando, and Jamin Halberstadt. Indirect Effects OF Lowering the Drinking Age on New Zealand Students Alcohol-Related Behaviors and Attitudes. New Zealand Journal of Psychology 32. (2003): 22. Academic Search Complete. Web. 5 May 2013.

At the University of Otago, researchers studied a group of 20-25 year of age students before and after the lowering of the minimum drinking age from 20 to 18 in New Zealand. They observed the attitudinal and behavioral changes that occurred as soon as the drinking age was lowered. From their argument, they claimed that when the drinking age was dropped there was a substantial reduction in alcohol consumption. They also suggested that lacked resultant change in participants' attitudes toward alcohol, which they say altered the quantity and frequency of alcohol intake for students, aged 18-22. Even though there was a reduction in alcohol consumption in the student population, they as well-identified that over one-fourth of adult participants changed their place of drinking and had adverse comments toward the younger people hence making most of the older people out of public establishments. This research study is essential since it examines a nation that approved legislation to lower the minimum drinking age and the impacts that the legislation has had on its people. I will use this research study to indicate that reduction of the minimum drinking age might not escalate the quantity and frequency of alcohol intake in the younger people.

Dasgupta, Amitava. "How Alcohol Affects The Human Mind." The Science Of Drinking: How Alcohol Affects Your Body And Mind. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2011. 37-52. Print.

This chapter focuses on the adverse impacts of alcohol on the brain. The author starts by mentioning that high blood alcohol content in the body can considerably damage your body temporarily,...

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Minimum Legal Drinking Age. (2021, Apr 29). Retrieved from

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