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Is the Drinking Age Too High? a Modern Controversy

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Essay title: Is the Drinking Age Too High? a Modern Controversy

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Mike Tramontelli

Mr. Greshes

English 12

30 April 2007

Is the Drinking Age too High? A Modern Controversy

There has been a controversy in the United States of America ever since the legal drinking age was increased from 18 to 21. Many new points of contention have arisen ever since the federal government passed their decision. In my opinion, I think that the drinking age should be lowered again to eighteen for many reasons. Usually every weekend, most teenagers’ main thrill is drinking and getting drunk. Research has found that restricting access to alcohol doesn’t lower its consumption among young people. It just happens to do the exact opposite. Such a high drinking age makes alcohol the forbidden fruit. When teen in this country get a hold of alcohol, drinking in moderation goes right out the window. ., The present drinking age is counter-productive and makes young people drink in excess and doesn’t allow for teens to learn drinking in moderation. Young people in this country think that since there is alcohol now, why not drink it all because who knows when they are going to have it again. Furthermore, young people think that drinking alcohol is a right of passage. If your parents can drink alcohol and you cannot, it seems like the government is infantilizing people under the age of twenty-one. The drinking age law is an insulting law. It basically says that the government doesn’t trust young people and they aren’t ready to make important decisions on their own. Young people having been making important decisions way before they were

Tramontelli 2 twenty-one. If a person can choose which college to go to, what low wage job they want to have, and joyride in their cars, than they should be allowed to drink.

One may say, if the drinking age is 21, how is it that all of these teenagers have experimented with alcohol and want to feel its effects on a regular basis? That is because, teenagers obtain alcohol illegally. Some teenagers buy the alcohol themselves, steal it from their parents, or having older friends (older than 21) buy them alcohol for them. It is illegal and can be prosecuted by every extent of the law if a policeman finds someone under the age of 21 drunk or has alcohol in their possession. This is the only consequence, of having alcohol in their system or with them, that actually scares teenagers into not drinking. In addition, the police and law enforcement officials have been really cracking down on these newly created laws in order to ensure the safety of people every where. In my opinion, I think that there should be different laws for people under twenty-one that are due to the level of drunkenness. If a teen is a little buzzed, not driving and just having fun, I don’t think that there should be repercussions. If a teen is falling over, attempting to drive, and or throwing up everything that they drank, then I think that person should be punished and rehabilitated so he or she doesn’t commit a similar act. These laws should be enacted for the here and now, but I’d rather just have the drinking age to be eighteen.

In my opinion, the United States government increased the drinking age from 18 to 21 the drinking age because of the age of new drivers. The government is most concern with the inexperience of new drivers and that inexperience can lead to poor decision making behind the wheel. In my opinion, the increased drinking age is supposed

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to scare the drivers who are under twenty-one not to drink. However, this idea really hasn’t worked so well. There is a statistic that on a Friday and Saturday that one out of every five drivers is driving under the influence. This statistic incorporates drivers under the age of twenty-one and over.

Even though I don’t agree with increasing the drinking age, I can definitely see why the government passed this law. There is a law called the “Zero Tolerance Policy” for drivers who are under the age of twenty-one and are under the influence of alcohol. The police do allow for a very small amount of alcohol to be allowed in the blood, or breath is the driver is tested with a breathalyzer, to compensate for any medications that the person might be taken. If the BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) is greater than what is stipulated in the “Zero Tolerance Policy” than that person is in a world of trouble. There is a 250 dollar fine, six month license suspension, and court fees. If the driver had hit someone or something than criminal charges would follow. After the first offense, then the consequences get even harsher.


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