Drinking alcohol is a privilege not a right and that privilege should have a minimum age requirement of 25 years old. Alcoholic beverages are beverages that a large number of people in the United States enjoy consuming, however, the consumption of alcohol does have some dangers involved with it. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control approximately 88.000 death could be attributes to excessive alcohol consumption in the United States between the years of 2006 and 2010. And there are a number of ways that the excessive consumption can harm someone. One of the biggest dangers alcohol posed is when someone who has had too much to drink chooses to get behind the wheel of a car. Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of death on America’s roadways, taking more than 10,000 lives a year. Because of these statistics, people who purchase and consume alcohol need to consume alcohol responsibly. It is my belief that the purchase and consumption of alcohol should be limited to those ages twenty five years old and older to ensure that alcohol is consumed responsibly in the interest of public safety.
Increasing the Drinking Age to 25 Years Old
In the United States today, the minimum age requirement for the purchase and consumption of alcohol is twenty one years old. However, those between the ages of twenty one and twenty four years old have consistently shown that they are not as responsible as those who are twenty five years old and older when purchasing and consuming alcohol. And their irresponsibility with the alcohol has dire consequences. Nearly one out of every three drunk driving fatalities involves someone between the ages of twenty one and twenty four years old. In fact, approximately 12,000 people a year die on America’s roadways as a result of drunk driving accidents and more than one third of these people are between the ages of twenty one and twenty five years old according to the Centers for Disease Control. There are a number of reasons for this occurrence. Younger people may be more likely to get behind the wheel of a car after consuming alcohol. In addition, young drivers have been shown to be more vulnerable to the effects of alcohol. Furthermore, younger drivers are more inexperienced drivers. Moreover, younger people are more likely to consume large amounts of alcohol for the purposes of consuming alcohol. Raising the legal age limit for the purchase and consumption of alcohol will cut down on the number of drunk driving fatalities on America’s roadways and amongst twenty one to twenty four year olds. Therefore, the increasing the drinking age to twenty five years old is in the interest of public safety.
Many of those who are against raising the legal age for the purchase of alcohol argue that eighteen year olds are allowed to fight on the battlefield for this country, get married, raise children, and hold jobs, therefore, the legal age limit to remain at twenty one or be lowered. However, I contend that there are a significant number of laws that have higher age limits in the interest of public safety. States have raised the legal age at which one can purchase a handgun, enter a casino, adopt a child, and run for public office. In fact, for many major public offices one have to be at least 30 years old to hold that office to ensure that the officeholder is responsible. Therefore, I feel that states should raise the legal age limit for the purchase and consumption of alcohol to twenty five to ensure that the person consuming alcohol is responsible.
Another argument that has been presented against raising the legal age at which one can purchase alcohol is that a higher age limit would make alcohol more attractive to young people. In fact, the Huffington Post argues that the legal drinking age is the most violated law in the country. Critics of raising the age limit argue that this would promote binge drinking and drinking behind closed doors for the purposes of drinking. However, there is no evidence to show that raising the legal age limit actually encourages drinking among younger people. One can assume that those who are willing to drink illegally would probably drink the same amount or more if the age limit were lower. Furthermore, more the penalties involved with the purchase and consumption of alcohol by those who are under the legal age would make the procurement of alcohol by members of this age group more difficult.
In addition, there are those who argue that education and public awareness has does more to cut down on the number of drunk driving fatalities than raising the legal age limit. Many people credit organizations such as MADD and public service commercials which took place at the same time with cutting down the number of alcohol related crashed when the legal drinking age was raised to twenty one. It makes little sense, however, to believe that making obtaining alcohol more difficult to procure by younger people was not at least as effective.
In summary, there are a number of risks to the consumption of alcohol and those who consume it need to be responsible. Drunk driving, one of the biggest risks, often leads to the loss of life. One out of every three drunk driving fatalities involved someone between the ages of twenty one to twenty four years old. Therefore, raising the legal limit to twenty five would help save lives. Younger people are less experience with both drinking and driving. In addition, other laws in the public interest have higher age limits. For these reasons, I believe the legal limit for the purchase and consumption of alcohol should be raised to twenty five to make our roadways safer and preserve life.