The Legal Age
Why shouldn’t 18 be the legal age for everything?
After doing research and conducting class surveys, it is clear that there is controversy in what should be the legal age for everything. Majority, believe that 18 years olds should be allowed to have the same privileges of those who are 21. The main concern of the majority is they believe 18 years olds should be able to drink. But there are many reasons why it is NOT safe for 10 years olds to consume alcohol, which later on I will thoroughly explain with strong facts behind it. According to my research, many people believe that most 18 years olds are not mature enough to handle the responsibility of drinking and strongly agree with The National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 which was passed on July 17, 1984 by the United States Congress as a mechanism “whereby all states would become thereafter required to legislate the age of 21 years as a minimum age for purchasing and publicly possessing alcoholic beverages.
What does Drinking do for an older person, that isn’t 10x worse for someone younger?
Teenagers are four times as likely to be involved in a car crash and three times more likely to die in one than adults according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Recent studies have shown that these statistics may have to do with teenage brain development. A National Institute of Health study proposes that the part of the brain that restrains risky behavior, including reckless driving and thinking skills is not fully developed until the age of 25, so even the age of 21 is 4 years behind. After doing some more research, Scientists have recently proven that alcohol can still damage the brain of a 25 year old. Why would the government of US allow 18 year olds, almost 10 years behind the full development of the brain, to drink alcohol?
Overall, any benefit or joy alcohol can bring is minimal compared to the greater harms alcohol causes. Although alcohol is harmful to everyone, alcohol harms young adults much more than older adults. One’s brain does not complete development until the age of 25. The mind has not fully formed its critical and rational thinking abilities. Studies show that alcohol is deterrent to the process. This can connect to a few of my senior classmates who are 18 and older and are prospective college students. If you are looking to go to college and excel and gain something from higher education alcohol can be a roadblock to that goal. The fact that your brain isn’t fully developed yet, drinking alchohol can stop the full formation of your mind, and your ability to think critical and rational, two things that may be necessary for college. Not only does alcohol consumption affect the brain, it also affects female maturation and reproduction abilities during adolescents.
The National minimum drinking age act, allows 21 years olds to drink. Once again, 4 years to low but there goes the government’s way of giving the people some leeway. Most 18 years olds are still at home with their parents, fresh out of high school and even on their way to college to begin life on their own. At this point they are finding themselves and are bound to make many mistakes, which of course some may learn from, and unfortunately some may not. The hype of finally being 18 may cause teenagers to go above the limit, because to them they’re an Adult. They are on their own without parental supervision. Here is where the law comes in handy. The National minimum drinking age act is the rule they must abide by, in other words it serves as their parent, and if they don’t abide by the rules, they will have to face the consequences. Being that 21 is the minimum age for drinking, it allows teenagers to mature more, and the excitement of finally being on their own should be long gone.
In conclusion, ages of initiation vary in this country. One may vote at 18, drink at 21, visit the local casino at 21, rent a car at 25 and run for President at 35. These ages take into account that requirements, risks, and benefits of each act. The National minimum legal drinking age of 21 has survived the test of time and is firmly supported by current scientific research. Opponents of lowering the MLDA argue that teens have not yet reached an age where they can handle alcohol responsibly, and they are more likely to harm or even kill themselves and others by drinking prior to 21 and that traffic fatalities decreased when the MLDA increased. The lives and futures of our children depend on its continued support.