Should The Legal Drinking Age Be Lowered?

    You can make life altering decisions at the age of 18, so why should you have to be 21 to be able to drink?


    Photo by Clay Vesser

    You must be 18 to risk your life in the military, to smoke, to vote, to have a full driver’s license, to rent your own apartment, to take care of your own finances and to make your own decisions. Yet, you must be 21 in order to drink. Consistent responses to the 18/21 debate include accidents, addiction, damage and death. Alcohol is dangerous and deadly, with some only seeing the “fun, party side” of the debate as important. Some of the current generation refuse to recognize that alcohol is not good for them, and they often times refuse to use it appropriately and abide by the law.

    Police officers have the most experience dealing with alcohol related cases. Many officers deal first hand with the effects and results of underage drinking and fatal accidents related to alcohol.

    “In my experience, people who are of young age do not know how to act appropriately when drinking. They act stupid,” said Lake County Sheriff Paul Soberano.

    It is true that often times young people do not know how to act appropriately while drinking, often times leading to deadly consequences. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “Nearly 88,000 people (approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women) die from alcohol related causes annually, making it the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States.”

    Lives are ruined, destroyed and lost because of alcohol. If the legal drinking age were to be lowered, it would increase the usage of alcohol and potentially death rates. Yet, some students see the prospect of lowering the drinking age to be advantageous outside of the potential legal issues.

    “If the drinking age were to be lowered, it could have a positive on many states by increasing revenue from the sale of alcohol. However, it should not be lowered because there are to many stupid people in this world who don’t know how to handle themselves properly around alcohol,” said senior Chase Lacas.

    While there may be some slight economical advantages to lowering the legal drinking age, it would not be an overall beneficial effect to humanity and society as a whole. Sometimes, lowering one thing can raise another, and lowering the drinking age would raise the death rates, injuries related to alcohol and the amount of people seriously affected by the usage of alcohol.