Why the Legal Drinking Age Should Be Lowered to 16

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Experts say lowering the drinking age remains a tough sell to politicians worried about re-election. A 2007 Gallup poll found that 77 percent of Americans opposed lowering the drinking age to 18 in all states. A major problem with the high drinking age, coupled with the high penalties imposed on minors who drink, is that an underage drinker can be left in fear. The fear of getting into trouble because of underage drinking also discourages people from seeking medical treatment when it might be necessary. These people are sometimes faced with the difficult decision of whether or not to take a drunk friend to the hospital. If the drinking age were lower, this stigma would be eliminated and it would be more likely that these students would not be at risk of not leaving. Proponents say higher drinking age reduces alcohol-related accidents “There was a strong sense that preventing alcohol use by people under 18 creates a lot of excitement around drunkenness, whereas if it were possible to go to the pub and be social, that enthusiasm would be significantly reduced,” she said. MLDA 21 encourages young adults to acquire false identification documents and use them to obtain alcohol. At a time of national security concerns, including terrorism, illegal immigration and other threats, it would be better to have fewer false identity documents in circulation and more respect for the law. [17] The repeal of alcohol prohibition by the 21st Amendment on December 5, 1933 allowed each state to establish its own laws on alcohol consumption. At that time, most states established the MLDA for alcohol at age 21, although two states established an MLDA of 21 for men and 18 for women: Illinois (1933-1961) and Oklahoma (1933-1976).

The 1976 case of Craig v. the U.S. Supreme Court Boren ruled 7-2 that this age difference violated the equality clause of the 14th Amendment. After the passage of the 26th Amendment on July 1, 1971, which lowered the legal voting age from 21 to 18, 30 U.S. states lowered their MLDA to 18, 19, or 20; In 1982, only 14 states had an MLDA of 21 A survey for the Center for Alcohol Policy found that 86% of Americans support the legal drinking age at 21. [54] Numerous state and national surveys from the 1970s (when states raised the legal drinking age) to the present have shown overwhelming public support for MLDA 21. [30] [31] [32] This shift in beverage choices, along with irresponsible drinking habits among younger colleges, has resulted in an increased incidence of alcohol toxicity – in some cases, death from alcohol poisoning. However, the percentage of students who consume alcohol or who consume a lot of alcohol or who consume alcohol excessively has been relatively stable over the past 30 years. Statistically, fewer accidents and deaths under the influence of alcohol occur in countries where the legal drinking age is 18.

In this way, he says, parents educate their children about alcohol and deprive drinking of its taboo appeal, which can lead rebellious teens to sneak into basements and woods to drink away from adult supervision. In a 2002 meta-study on legal drinking age and health and social problems, 72% of studies found no statistically significant association, although it was claimed that lowering the MLDA to 18 would increase suicide and criminal activity among adolescents. [19] Lawmakers in a handful of states have proposed lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18, but none have gained traction so far. 100 of 102 analyses (98%) of a meta-study on the legal drinking age and traffic accidents found a higher legal drinking age, which is associated with lower rates of road accidents. [19] In the 30 years since the introduction of MLDA 21, drunk driving deaths have decreased by one-third. [50] The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that MLDA 21 saved 31,417 lives between 1975 and 2016. [50] Many underage drinkers quickly consume larger amounts of alcohol before going out rather than drinking for an extended period of time. If students could buy their own drinks, underage drinkers would be less likely to try to get older people to buy drinks from them. But by not buying their own drinks, they become more likely to have something added to the drink. Of course, Heath`s idea has no chance of becoming law anytime soon.

Thirty years ago this week, Congress passed a bill effectively raising the national drinking age to 21. Despite subsequent efforts to lower it in some countries – and the fact that most developed countries allow young people to drink legally at the age of 18 – this threshold has remained firmly in place ever since. People who advocate for the drinking age like to say that if we applied it more, almost all the problems caused by underage drinking would cease to do so. But that`s not true. Currently, the drinking age makes 7.7 million Americans lawbreakers. The vast majority of them are never caught. Despite harsh penalties for underage drinkers, only 1 in 1,000 cases of underage drinking results in arrest. Even if we arrested ten times as many people as today (which would be extremely difficult and expensive), it still wouldn`t be enough to stop minors from drinking.

The law is simply unrealistic, yet people would rather see it systematically flouted than repealed. Police tend to ignore or under-enforce LDL 21 due to resource constraints, legal barriers, the perception that sanctions are inadequate, and the time and effort required to process and paperwork. It is estimated that two out of every 1,000 cases of illegal alcohol consumption by youth under the age of 21 result in arrest. [18] The history of the legal drinking age is long and complicated. All states adopted a legal drinking age (MLDA) after prohibition ended in the United States in 1933 (Toomey et al. 1958). Most set the age at 21. That only changed in the 1970s, when the legal voting age was lowered to 18, leading more than half of states to lower the MLDA to 18, 19 or 20.

However, after research showed an increase in alcohol-related accidents among 18- to 20-year-olds, most of these states reduced them to 21. That`s where Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) comes in. They called for and advocated for all states to have MLDA at age 21. The government supported them and enacted the National Lawful Alcohol Consumption Act, which required all states to set the MLDA at age 21 or suffer the loss of road funds. No state was willing to lose these funds, and until 1988 all states had some sort of rule that meant that the legal drinking age was 21 (Toomey et al. 1958). The debate has continued since then, and some states have repeatedly considered lowering the MLDA. The Uniform Drinking Act, which forced states to set the legal drinking age at 21 by withholding ten percent of highway funding from states that left the legal drinking age at 18, is an example of the federal government`s encroachments on state affairs. Many states satisfied with their MLDA 18 have bowed to federal pressure instead of losing millions of dollars in annual funds for highways.

[15] Well, the legal driving age is sixteen, you can move to sixteen and legally agree to have sex, so the only difference is that you can drink alcohol and in some places it`s under eighteen for that. More people would be legally allowed to drink in bars, restaurants and other licensed establishments. The incomes of private entrepreneurs would increase and higher tax revenues would be collected from the government. In the 1980s, states decided to raise the drinking age to 21. Surprisingly, it wasn`t because of security, audience pressure, or even their own emotions. That. One of our biggest campaigns here at NYRA is to lower the drinking age, which is probably the topic we`ve had the most press about.