Legal Drinking Age: Is 21 too old?

by ichar1 on September 14, 2013 - 7:27pm

If 18 is technically the legal age to drive without it being called a junior license, vote, be considered an adult, live on your own without your parents and more then why is it that people aren’t allowed to drink since they are 18? Why the extra three years? In the article McCardell (2010) states that the government says the drinking age is 21 to cut down on drunk driving. If that’s true why are a lot of drunken driving motor vehicles accidents occurring with underage drinkers? McCardell also states that “of the total number of lives lost to alcohol by those under the age of 21, more than 60 percent are lost off the roadways.” Approximately five thousand lives are lost yearly to underage drinking.

I do agree that the legal age for drinking should be lowered. I feel that regardless of what the age may be teens and underage young adults will still find their way to consume alcohol. So what’s the point? I believe that if the drinking age is lowered to 18 then maybe teens will drink within the comfort of their own home instead of travelling to a party or a friend’s house for a drink. When they travel to a party or a friend’s house to drink chances are they are driving (since 18 is a legal age to drive most teens have a vehicle by that age), after drinking they most likely will be driving home. That’s one of the reasons that underage car accidents occur often. I think 21 years old is a drastic age especially since 18 is the legal age to do everything else EXCEPT drink alcohol. Most 18 year olds are off to college and a large percentage of them go off to campus for school. Do you really think at the house parties on campus they ask for ID? I feel the author of the article shares the same thoughts as me when it comes to the drinking age. Regardless of the person’s age they will be drinking alcohol if they want to. Somehow, some way they will find a way to get.

URL Link to Article:


I really like this post, I like your statistics about the drunk driving incidents and how 60% of them are from under age drinking, I really think that supports your argument. I do agree with all of what your saying, they are all valid points, but one reason I can say for having the drinking age be at 21 is because the brain is not fully developed until that age. You are right 18 year olds if they want to drink are going to find a way to drink, if its legal or not. So I completely see your point on lowering it, but I what I would like to know is it the drinking age was lowered to 18 would crashes, and injuries, and death increase or decrease? I think that would really be the tiebreaker for me to sway me to lower the drinking age. I really like your article and you have a lot of good statistics, and support to back your view up.

Thanks I appreciate your comment :D but I think the statistics if the drinking age was lowered could go either way. To me just because a person's brain fully develops at the age of 21 doesn't mean that they are mature and responsible enough to drink responsibly, There are underage drinkers who drink more responsibly than those of age. So my question to you is does a fully developed brain really have an impact on how responsibly someone drinks alcohol?

Now I agree with you. That is so true there are some 19 year olds who drink more responsibly than some 23 year olds. I do agree with you now.

Hi, I agree with you, I think that 21 is too old to be a “legal drinker”. Personally, I live in Quebec and the legal drinking age is 18 and we are happy about it here. However, we have a very severe law (law 71) which forbids every young adults under the age of 22 to have even a drop of alcohol in our system and if you are caught with alcohol in your system you lose your licence for about 2 years. Therefore, you can drink before 21, but we have a strong education and severe laws that dissuade us to drink while driving. Of course, there will always be some people who will drink and drive, but I think that it unfair to prohibit alcohol for millions of people under 21 just because some people aren’t able to be responsible.

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