The drinking age is fine where it is

By Laura Stall

Almost every teenager, at one point in his or her life, has questioned the drinking age. A common question is: If we’re old enough to smoke, vote and join the army, why can’t we drink?

I’ve heard a lot of talk about the need to change the drinking age back to 18. People do all sorts of research and gather all kinds of information to prove why being 18 years old makes one OK to legally drink.

However, contrary to what a good number of teenagers might think, the drinking age should stay exactly where it is. I tend to find myself pretty alone on this side of the argument, but I always stand my ground against the counter arguments.

The first argument I have mentioned already: If we’re trusted enough to smoke, vote for our leaders and join the army, why can’t we drink?

There are plenty of different age requirements for various activities. In order to purchase a handgun, one must be 21. The majority of rental car companies will only rent cars to people who are 25. To bring up the fact that there’s an inconsistency in age laws would be to question all age laws. If we can join the military at 18, why can’t we rent cars?

Another argument that comes up is the “rebellious teen” argument, as I like to call it. This is when someone claims that people under 21 drink more because they know that it’s wrong and being rebellious makes them feel dangerous and cool, and that lowering the drinking age will cause them to cease feeling this way and thus stop drinking so much.

This argument is outrageous. The amount of alcohol one consumes is not directly linked to how rebellious they feel. Sure, the knowledge that one shouldn’t be drinking might make the experience more fun or enjoyable, but there is no proof that this would change if they were suddenly allowed to do it.

That’s like saying that the idea of driving people around or driving past midnight when one is still on the probationary license is more exciting than doing so without it.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I like the idea of driving people around now more than when I was still on my probationary period.

There is no proof that teens would drink less just because it was finally legal to do so. If anything, they’d drink more because they had easier access to the alcohol. So this argument is useless.

My favorite argument to hear is that no matter what, kids under 21 will drink, so why not just change the drinking age?

This argument is also ridiculous. It could be said about every law ever. No matter what, people will always murder other people, so why bother making murder illegal? It’s called society, people. Laws are broken daily. Does that mean there shouldn’t be any laws? No. Then it would be chaos. That’s why we have police.

According to HowStuffWorks.com the brain is not fully developed at age 18, and certain levels of alcohol consumption could potentially damage the further growth and development of a young person’s brain.

The amount of alcohol-related deaths among teenagers has declined since the law was changed in 1984 according to ProCon.org. While it stinks for those kids who get caught drinking underage, it’s true.

And while 18 years may seem old since it is the age when one is legally considered an adult, the kid is still lacks a level of responsibility. The person is entering a new stage in their life.

Whether it’s college or just moving out of the parents’ house, it’s easier for him or her to succumb to the temptation of heavy partying and
drinking.

However, as they get older, they will have more responsibilities — hopefully starting on their career path or having a significant other — and will probably feel less and less as though they have to drink so much.

People will always drink when they shouldn’t. People will always drink and drive, and there will always be some alcohol-related fatalities. It’s unfortunate, but it’s true.

However, a higher drinking age does prevent more of these occurrences, and that’s why the drinking age should stay where it is.

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