Drinking Age

     Since the increase of the drinking age to 21 has taken effect in New York state,
the argument for lowering that limit has been heated. The current age for the
consumption of alcohol in the United States is 21 ("Consequences").

Just as it is stated in the following quote, age limits for minors are
inconsistent. " Why is it that 18 year old U.S. citizens can legally obtain
a driver's license, register to vote, be forced into jury duty or a draft, can
be tried as an adult and even put to death, but cannot buy and consume alcoholic
beverages?"("Drinking"). The following quote deals specifically
with the problem of underage drinking. "88% of drinking drivers aged 16-20
who where involved in fatal crashes in 1993 were determined to have CAUSED the
crash" ("Consequences"). Logically, if parents could teach young
adults the responsibilities of alcohol at a younger age, then this frightening
statistic would probably be cut in half. As Jeff Roberts* put it in his
interview, " I believe that one of the factors that drives young adults to
drinking, if not the biggest reason, is that it is illegal. That is where the
peer pressure and the glamour of it all comes in. Young adults see the older
adults handling alcohol and say well I want to act older so I can do that too.

It also makes the young adult feel dangerous and alive. They are getting away
with something that is illegal." It is conceivable that if a parent were
given the chance to teach his or her child the responsibilities of drinking at a
younger age, that child may grow up understanding and respecting the
responsibilities of drinking ("Drinking"). Fasier* responded "I
am a firm believer in the idea. It is logical, it is the way it should be taught
, Laurent 2 and it is right there along with the Constitution and freedom of
choice, which is what this nation was built on". Alcohol-related crashes
are the leading cause of teenage deaths ("Consequences"). If parents
could allow their children to not abuse alcohol and to be responsible drivers,
earlier in life they might be more responsible as life goes on. According to

Mrs. Frasier, "The worst that alcohol can do is hurt the kidney, when drunk
in massive quantities and at a younger age, but, most of the studies I have read
indicate that the age where this is a problem is up till 14 in boys and up to 12
in girls.". In some cases, massive amounts of alcohol can cause a problem
in almost all people . If these people had been taught at an earlier age, then
possibly they might have more respect and responsibility for the "
substance that is meant to be consumed maturely." ("Drinking").
" When I was young, the drinking age was 18, but if they had the chance to
teach me even earlier then I firmly believe that my bout with alcoholism would
not even have happened. Now the age is 21 so I believe that they should at least
bring the age back to 18 if not lower." (Fasier*). The push for this
decrease is not just isolated to the United States. It is occurring in other
nations as well. Some nations have already begun to lower their age limits such
as Canada and European nations ("Drinking"). Recently there have been
the deaths of two college students. One of the students was attending LSU and
the other was going to MIT. In both cases, the students died of alcohol
poisoning ("Drinking")."In the case of the two college students
it is already too late, let's not lose any more." ("Drinking").

It is more likely that if the two college students had been able to drink at a
younger age, their parents might have been more able to teach them the
responsibility of the substance that brought them to their demise. " I
believe that we should lower the drinking age in the United States to at least

18 if not lower than that" (Fasier). " I believe that we should
definitely lower the drinking age, and I am not just saying that because I
already drink, but I am Laurent 3 saying that because I believe that it is right
moral, and also part of our constitutional right." (Roberts). These are at
least two firm supporters for lowering the drinking age who voice the opinion of
many people and there are countless reasons for doing so. If nothing else, the
drinking age in the United States should be 18.

"Consequences of Under 21 Drinking"available; http://www.FCPI.org/under21info.html
. 21 November 1997. "Drinking Dissertion" available; http://www.genesio.edu/~tae99/dissertion.html
. 21 November 1997. Fasier, Kimberly. Personal interview. 21 November 1997.

Roberts, Jeff. Personal interview. 20 November 1997. * The name Jeff Roberts is
a pseudonym intended to keep the identity of the person being interviewed from
the public for fear of incrimination, it is not intended to be used to falsify
any information. The person in this case is a minor who drinks. ** The name

Kimberly Fasier is a psuedonym intended to keep the identity of the person being
interviewed from the public for fear of ridicule. The person in this case is
currently a nurse who deals with people struggling with substance abuse daily.

She also began drinking at an illegal age and has had a bout with alcoholism.