Legal Drinking Age Essay

Purpose: To persuade my audience that the drinking age should be lowered to the age of 18.

Thesis: To have the ability to lower the drinking age we must first look at new ways to educate our young adults, realize the role of our parents, and we must also look at the effects of a lower drinking age in other countries.

I. Introduction


A. Attention Getter: Can you honestly say that you never drank alcohol during high school? If so, you are in a distinct minority: nearly 80% of high school seniors admit to at least trying a drink.

I found this statistic on alcoholnews.org 
B. Relevance: This topic is very relevant to us as a whole because we are either 18 or somewhere between 18 and 21, and we are pressured everyday to break the law by “illegally” drinking alcohol. 
C. Credibility: I am credible to speak about this topic because as a college student that goes to parties I constantly have the pressure put onto me to drink.

I would be lying to you if I said that I do not drink, but there is a difference between getting drunk and drinking responsibly. When I do drink I try to drink responsibly and I find that it creates a more comfortable setting, and as a 19 year old I always have the feeling that what I am doing is wrong just because it is illegal.

D. Thesis: To have the ability to lower the drinking age we must first look at new ways to educate our young adults, realize the role of our parents, and we must also look at the effects of a lower drinking age in other countries.
E. Preview: First, I will speak about ways that we can educate young adults to make the correct decisions about drinking alcohol. Next, I will show you that our parents have a greater impact on us than we may think, and lastly I will speak about why we have different laws set in place in America that are no where else in the world. 

 A. As it stands now


1. Some of you might be saying, “If we are going to lower the drinking age then we are going to have more deaths from drinking.” I beg to differ, I have found an article entitled Setting the Bar at 18, in the magazine U.S. News and World Report, which speaks about the subject with a few ideas as how to regulate the consumption of alcohol for 18 year olds. 
2. It is evident that alcohol is in the life of young adults between 18-20, and not just people who are 21. An exact quote from John McCardell, the head of Choose Responsibility, that really caught my eye was, “Public policy should not be to try to change deeply seated human behavior. The goal should be to create the safest possible environment for that reality to take place.” This quote hits everything that I could possibly tell you directly on the nose. Do not stop the unstoppable, make the unstoppable safer. 
 3. Another idea from the mind of John McCardell is that if you are going to buy alcohol at the age of 18 you must get a license to do so, to get this license you would have to complete a class which will teach you about the effects of alcohol abuse.

B. Teaching Responsibility

1. Some of you may believe that maturity come with age. The age of a person does not necessarily mean that they are more mature or responsible than someone who is older. With a lowered drinking age it will be possible for parents to monitor their kids earlier on before they are thrown into situations such as college where it is more common for them to drink with other people their age. This is spoken of in the article; younger drinking age would increase parental oversight, from the newspaper U.S.A. Today, 2006.
 2. The lowering of the drinking age will also allow for kids to learn about how bad alcohol can affect your body while still in an environment where their parent are around. What I mean by this is that they will wake up the next day with a hang over and their parents will be able to tell them how bad it feels to abuse alcohol. 
3. I believe that a learning experience such as this will have a great effect on young adults if they decide to drink, because they will believe in their parents more from them experiencing the drinking, rather than just having their parents tell them to never drink.


 

C. Why does America have the highest drinking age.
 1. You now might be saying to yourself that if we lower the legal drinking age, then kids will start drinking at an even younger age. This is not true, and for some reason our country does not have confidence to stop underage drinking. The penalties must be much greater than they are right now. In the article You’ll be a man my son, from the newspaper Economist 2008, which I located on Academic Search Premiere. It speaks about the British government and how they have made harsher laws for drinking under the age of 18.

For bars if they are caught just once serving to someone under the age of 18 then they get their license revoked. If a minor is caught drinking then it is mandatory for them and their parents to meet with a social worker to discuss the matter. These are the type of harsh punishments that we need if we want to lower the drinking age and keep it off of the hands of children under the age of 18. 2. As it is in America now, there is no actual federal set drinking age. According to the article The National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984, written by Dr. David J. Hanson in 2007, member of the Maryland Underage Drinking Prevention Coalition. If every state wanted to set their drinking age to 12 they could legally do this, but due to the The National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984, if a state wants to lower its drinking age below 21 they will receive a huge cut in highway funding under the Federal Highway Aid Act.

III. Conclusion
 A. Thesis/ Summary: Although as of now the drinking age is 21, that does not mean that it will be that forever. Some states in our country have had a lowered drinking age before and I feel that one day it will be lowered again. The ironic thing is that we will most likely be over 21 years of age before this takes place. The change begins with us teaching future generations about the dangers of excessive alcohol use, realizing that maturity is not by age but about experience, and that we can take an example from other countries.

B. Memorable Close: If our country gives us all the responsibilities of an adult at the age of 18, including: fighting in their wars, paying our taxes, and supporting yourself, then they can at least let us make our own educated decisions when it comes to drinking alcohol.

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