The author of this essay intended to discuss why the United States of America should reconsider the current Minimum Legal Drinking Age from the current 21 years of age. The introduction of this essay starts with discussion the responsibilities that the young people face as they start their adult life. It discusses the challenges and hurdles that young people should experience in a day-to-day life are mentioned there, for example, working and studying, meeting the expectations from the society to make responsible and right decisions. The young people are expected to be ready and able to take up challenges, in other words to receive all the privileges and rights of adulthood. Taking it into consideration, the author feels that it is unfair that the laws consider the same young people too immature to responsibly consume alcoholic beverages and as such, the minimum legal drinking age is set at 21. The main aim of this essay is to evaluate how well the author articulates for reconsideration of the current MLDA.
In an argumentative essay, the author starts with stating the thesis statement, which helps readers to understand the author’s standpoint. The author can decide to write the thesis in the introduction section or as a statement in itself. However, the author in this essay does not take a specific stand as to whether the age should be reduced or increased. The author only points out that the minimum legal drinking age, in the U.S. should be reconsidered.
The author starts by giving a brief history of introducing in the U.S the minimum legal drinking at the age of 21. This law started in 1933 and remained effective until the year 1970 when military forced the drafting of the law to 18 years as a result of the Vietnamese war. Consequently, several studies revealed that the increase rate of fatalities and traffic accidents were because of drinking. This led to the reinstated of the minimum legal drinking age to 21 by the Congress. The background information is clear and presented in a logical way since every person reading the essay will be able to tell when the current minimum legal drinking age became effective.
The essay also reveals that, the rate of fatalities, resulting from traffic accidents because of alcohol, drastically reduced after the reinstatement of the minimum legal drinking age to 21. However, this fact was disapproved considering that European countries have a lower MLDA which is 18 years. Observers agree that the MLDA should be looked at in a wider perspective. The author makes it clear that mature and moderate attitudes towards drinking among young people should be fostered through modeling and proper education. This is a very valid argument since even at the age of 21, without proper modeling and education, young people will still engage in irresponsible and careless drinking. “Learning to enjoy alcohol in an atmosphere of moderation that neither forces people to drink nor to abstain would surely lead to more mature behavior”. Moreover, if the drinking age is not considered, then there will be young people continue the habit of hidden binge drinking.
The author also observes that, the accident fatalities are not entirely because of alcohol consumption by young people. He supports this through statistics from the European countries where the minimum legal drinking age is below 21 years. However, the declining rate of accidents is lower in the United States than in Europe. Transportation experts agree that higher MDLAs are not the most significant factor in curbing road fatalities among the young people. In fact, “it must be conceded that an MLDA of 21 does not in and of itself result in lower traffic fatalities than does a lower age limit”. The author articulates for this paragraph very well, making it easy for the readers to understand.
The author looks at the proponents’ points of view, who argue that drinking restrictions should not be imposed as it does not matter whether the young or old drink, they will most likely behave in the same way. Such restrictions or ban on drinking is to be placed to reduce fatalities on the road then it should consider all people and not just the young. Accordingly, the focus should be on employing realistic and democratic approach, which would entail developing technologies and more efficient vehicles to reduce all fatalities arising from road usage.
The other argument fronted by the proponents of reconsideration of MLDAs is based on the basic understanding of the human nature. Most people especially the young,want to undertake forbidden activities, which are considered to be risky.. Actually, people need critically analyze whether the MDLA actually contributes to decreased consumption of alcohol or overconsumption and abuse. The author explains “the ban on underage drinking on our nation’s college campuses is totally ineffective”. It is common knowledge that most underage drinking in colleges is quite prevalent, yet the students are barely 21 years of age. “The ironic consequence is that campus bingeing seems to have become an unofficially tolerated form of risky behavior”. It, thus, follows that if the MLDA was lowered, then the underage drinking would lose its appeal and the taboo will no longer be exciting as it is now.
The author has a very elaborate essay providing the reasons for and against reconsideration of the MDLAs in the United States of America. I support the author’s idea that young people need to understand that the consequences of irresponsible drinking can befatal. However, it is also important to analyze whether the current laws are bearing any fruits and whether they contribute to the under or overconsumption of alcohol. It is crucial to address the problem of underage drinking in a more humanistic and reasonable approach rather than focusing on laws that were enacted years ago and is still expected to have an impact on today’s problems. The author has been very articulate in comparing the United Stated with Europe where the MDLA is 18years of age yet the fatalities resulting from underage drinking in very minimal. The United States should follow the example and look for alternative solutions to the problem of underage drinking. The alternative solutions should be more realistic and should address the real problems of underage drinking.
The author also holds the idea that those against reconsideration of MDLA should focus on the idea of helping the young people to behave maturely and responsibly when it concerns drinking. At the age of 18people are allowed to drive, to vote, to marry, to carry weapons and join the Armed Forces. If they are accountable enough for these actions then it will not be hard for them to make responsible decisions when it comes to drinking. One should be realistic enough to know that reckless driving due to drinking does not stop at the 21st birthday; it occurs across all ages and the young people should not be punishment for that through the punitive MDLA. The state should invest in safer technologies for use on the roads to reduce fatalities, but not through introducing higher drinking legal age.