WOULD YOU DRINK ALCOHOL LESS OFTEN IF IT WAS LEGAL FOR YOU?
by cless1 on April 14, 2014 - 8:49pm
Binge drinking is a serious problem as discussed by Saylor in his article, but at what price does it take to control college students from doing it. Many people, such as college presidents believe that lowering the drinking age would lead us college students to not drink as much anymore because it would eliminate the “rebel effect”, which is the belief that people do things because it is illegal to be a rebel. In order to lessen the urge to binge, however, we would have to allow more Americans to legally drink. The current debate stated that the drinking age should be lowered to eighteen, seeing that, that is the age in which one is a legal adult and can also join the military. This age would not only open freely alcohol consumption to college students, but also high school students as well. Saylor touches upon the theory, by saying that if we allow this change to happen, a slippery slope effect would occur. For example, if students decide not to binge anymore, then it will cause them to go after other illegal drugs to use as a rebel effect. Another aspect of this is the slippery slope age idea. If the college students are drinking now because its cool, and they are just below the legal limit, then what would stop highschoolers from doing the same, if there was an eighteen year old rule.
Although it would lower alcohol related arrests in people under the age of twenty-one, this change could also have a direct correlation on a rise in the number of annual DWI related deaths in America. This sparks the question, is it really worth it? Both sides have a strong argument with valid and key argument, but both also would create new problems or make current ones worse such as the number of alcohol related deaths. For example, if the age was lowered, deaths resulting in overdose or binge drinking might lower, but the number of DWI deaths might be raised due to a higher number of people legally drinking.
As an underage college student who does drink, I think the drinking age is fine how it is now and there is no need to lower the age so that kids the age of eighteen who are still and high school have access to it. From my experiences, I believe that drinking not only is a college problem, but also a high school problem. Think about it, 18-year-old college students are binge drinking illegally and they are three years away from a legal age. So if the legal age was changed to 18, then 15 year olds would now be the ones three years away from legal drinking, and also closer to people who are of legal age. If I were a parent, I would much rather my 18 year old get really drunk, rather than my 15 year old. A more approachable and reasonable resolution would be lowering the legal age to twenty, allowing most juniors and few sophomores in college to legally drink. This would lessen binge drinking, but at the same time prevent people that are newly adults from legally obtaining alcohol.