Is the Law Always Right?

English 102

Essay 1

In the United States, the legal drinking age is set at 21. I believe that considering 21 as the legal age of maturity is ridiculous. Who is to say that just because an individual is 21 means that they are mature enough to consume alcohol in a responsible manner? Young adults can take on many adult responsibilities, but they do not have the right to consume alcohol. Many people are in agreement with this legal limit, and some would even say that it should be raised. However, the legal drinking age sometimes causes more problems than it prevents. Today\'s legal drinking age is unrealistic. The drinking age should be lowered to 18.

First, it is necessary to question this law. Why is 21 the magical age that makes one intelligent and mature enough to consume alcohol? We all know some people under 21 who can drink responsibly, and some over 21 with no hope of ever drinking responsibly. This random number is associated with adulthood, as if the day a person turns 21 they know everything and are mature. The drinking age used to be 18 in some states. Many parents of today\'s teenagers were legally allowed to drink at 18.

Today\'s teenagers face more responsibility and are treated more like adults than their parents were. This makes the 21 restriction seem out of date. At 18, people are considered adults. In many peoples opinion if it is legal for 18 year olds to drive cars, fly planes, vote, marry, pay taxes, take out loans and risk their lives in the armed forces then it should be legal for them to drink alcohol.

Prohibiting the sale of liquor to young adults creates an atmosphere where binge drinking and alcohol abuse have become a problem. Banning drinking for young people makes alcohol a tempting forbidden fruit. And as we all know it is human nature, especially in teenagers, to do things we are told not to do. Teenagers look at drinking as something exciting. It is viewed as an adult activity; and teenagers want to be adults as soon as possible. In order to get a drink, teenagers will carry fake I.D.s ask legal drinkers to buy for them or sneak drinks from their parents\' liquor cabinets. Drinking has become this thing where teenagers feel like they have to participate in or else they just aren’t going to be viewed as cool. Drinking can be a very dangerous and while at the time it may not seem like it, by abusing alcohol it can cause many health problems or even death. This kind of devious attitude does not encourage responsible drinking.

With the focus on education about safe drinking instead of restriction, many problems would be avoided. American teenagers, unlike European and Latin American teens, do not learn how to drink gradually, safely and in moderation. There alcohol abuse isn’t as big of a problem. This comes from educated and gradual drinking. Young people learn to regard moderate drinking as an enjoyable social activity rather than as something they have to sneak around to do. Without this kind of system, college is viewed as a kind of liberation. I personally have had many friends who never drank a drop in high school. However, now that we are in college all they seem to do Wednesday through Sunday is drink. If 18 year olds do not have legal access to even a beer in a public place, they are ill equipped to deal with the responsibilities that come with drinking when they do have the right. With a lowered drinking age, fewer problems will exist. Instead of forbidding teens from drinking, we need to teach how to drink responsibly. The problems, which make a drinking age limit necessary, are better solved through a lowered drinking age and more education on responsible drinking.