When Drinking Age Were Lowered To Eighteen, Students Would Be More Responsible Toward Their Alcohol Consumption

 

There are many purposes of drinking, such as to relax, to reduce stress in daily life, or just to enjoy the taste of alcohols. However, drinking is a double-edged sword; alcohol sometimes brings unpredictable and unwanted consequences such as alcohol poisoning or public fighting. Therefore, the U.S. government published the law determining the minimum legal drinking age to twenty-one years old with an idea of preventing and protecting the youth from bad consequences that might happen as the cause of alcohol consumption. Nevertheless, in my opinion, the legal drinking age in the United States should be lowered to eighteen because people age from eighteen to twenty-one are legally responsible for their actions; there would be a reduction of illegal activities related to alcohol consumption, and students will not feel the need to try to break the law.

Drinking in college is always a concern from parents and higher authorities like the universities and the government. It matters because many people start drinking in college as long as they turn twenty-one, which is the legal drinking age. Parents and the high authorities are worried about the unwanted consequences students may cause, as it is the first time they try alcohols. Consequently, many people support the law with the legal drinking age of twenty-one with the reason that maturity comes with age; people are mature enough to be capable of taking care of themselves only when they turn twenty-one, so it is better to prohibit younger people from drinking. However, people at the age of eighteen are already recognized as adults, giving them the freedom to decide what they want, and to know what is good for them.

In the United States, people at the age of eighteen are legally considered to be adults; therefore, they have the freedom to make decisions, and also have the mission to take responsibilities for their action. According to the 26th Amendment of the United States Constitution, people who are eighteen or older, have the right to vote. Voting is an essential action in a democratic nation. Voters have to be responsible for the votes they take because they are choosing their leader and their future. It means that people at the age of eighteen are seen as grown-ups by the government to be able to decide their country’s future. If an eighteen person can decide their country’s future, then he can decide his own lives. Therefore, college students, who are older than eighteen years old, should be able to make decision on their drinking. Joby Herbruck, a freshman in Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, claimed that:

I am not allowed to drink only because I am nineteen. Parties are fun and I can make so many friends there but would I just stand there watching my friends drinking? The bars allow us to get in, but what is the purpose of doing so if we cannot drink? I think we are old enough to take care of ourselves and have the right to enjoy our lives, like freshmen should have more freedom to enjoy their college lives by being able to drink.

The youth should be trusted to be responsible for their drinking, as they are trusted to be able to vote, and to be able to value their freedom. Moreover, there are many hard punishments for underage drinking, such as revocation of driver’s license, payment of fines, enrollment in alcohol programs, community service, etc. (Bergman). Matt Peter Hallock, a student from Miami University, who committed to breaking the underage drinking law, admitted that the punishments have affected his college life. The citation he received from Miami University hinders him from involving many activities on campus such as rushing the fraternities or running for the student council. Not only Hallock, but also any eighteen-year-old student, would finally be capable of acknowledging how these punishments greatly impact the students’ lives. The youth understands the duty given to them to decide their lives and the consequences caused my actions. Therefore, they know to consume alcohol without being controlled by it.

From the political angle, lowering the minimum legal age of drinking decreases the number of illegal activities. Nowadays, people under twenty-one already consume alcohol; “although drinking by persons under the age of twenty-one is illegal, people aged 12 to 20 years drink 11% of all alcohol consumed in the United States. More than 90% of this alcohol is consumed in the form of binge drinks” (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). The data stated that there has been a big number of people who are illegally consuming alcohol recently. Lowering down the age to eighteen reduces this number since it makes people from eighteen to twenty-one to drink lawfully. For example, according to the online newspaper from the Miami University, “seventeen of the students hospitalized over the weekend were females, while four were males. All but two of the students were underage.” (Steinbauer). Regardless to any further punishments those students might receive from the university for their inability to control their drinking, two students mentioned in the newspapers would be able to get rid of the punishments related to underage drinking if the drinking age was lowered to eighteen. Furthermore, Georgia Nugent, president of Kenyon College, argues that keeping the drinking age of twenty-one would “become more, not less, dangerous” as people find more ways to leak the laws leading to worse consequences. One way that students have found is drinking underground, which is known as “pre-gaming” is increasingly promoted. This activity is dangerous since people, who are under twenty-one, tend to consume excess amount of alcohol before they head to the parties, where they are prohibited from drinking. There is possibility of intoxication if they do not estimate how much they can drink.

The stricter the rule is, the greater penchant people have to want to try the crime, according to Professor Ruth C. Engs from Indiana University. She indicates that one of the stimulus for people toward underage drinking is that they see the issue as an enticing “forbidden fruit,” a “badge of rebellion against authority” and a symbol of “adulthood” (Engs). Young people always have strong desires of “adventuring” and taking risks, and breaking the rules is not an exception, especially the rules that they do not feel right about. In any university, half of the community is freshmen and sophomores, who are under the law of underage drinking. Notwithstanding the rule, in students’ perspectives, parties is a part of college life, and liquor is something cannot be forgotten in any party. Some young people would feel unfair since they cannot drink while their friends can in the same party just because they are one or two years old younger than the legal drinkers. The thought prompts them more to breaking the law since they see the prohibition is unnecessary because they could take care of themselves as anyone else // cant tell any differences in a party between freshman n seniors. There would be more youngsters committing to the crime since they are curious about the reasons why they are prohibited from drinking, and they want to show the higher authority that the law is unreasonable.

The high authority should lower the legal drinking age to eighteen because people who are eighteen are legal adults has been given their first mission in life which is to decide their personal lives, and because there would be a great reduction of legal activities since students ages range from eighteen to twenty-one become legal drinkers. Experience will continue to be the greatest teacher for years to come, and by lowering the legal drinking age to eighteen, drinking will be one of the first alluring yet tempting step stone, giving young adults valuable lessons of balancing between academics, social life, and health. As I believe, by lowering the drinking age, my Miami University community would be a safer and livelier drinking place for students to indulge their college lives.

https://prezi.com/kio374cjgb2o/drinking-on-my-campus/

Work Cited:

Bergman, Paul. “Underage-drinking and MIP laws prohibit alcohol possession for those younger than 21.” Underage Drinking and Minor-in-Possession Laws, Nolo.com. www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/underage-drinking-minor-possession-laws-33778.html.

Engs, Ruth C. “Why the drinking age should be lowered: An opinion based upon research.” 2014. Indiana University: Bloomington, IN, IUScholarWorks Repository. hdl.handle.net/2022/17594.

“Fact Sheets – Underage Drinking.” 20 Oct. 2016. Alcohol and Public Health. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/underage-drinking.htm.

Griggs, Brandon. “Should the U.S. Lower Its Drinking Age?”. 4 Jan 2015. CNN. Cable News Network. www.cnn.com/2014/07/16/us/legal-drinking-age/.

Hallock, Matt. “Thoughts about underage drinking.” Received by Olivia Luc, 4 Apr. 2017.

Herbruck, Joby. “Thoughts about underage drinking.” Received by Olivia Luc, 27 Mar. 2017.

Nugent, Georgia. “The New York Times Company.” 10 Feb  2015. The New York Times. The New York Times. www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2015/02/10/you-must-be-21-to-drink/raising-the-drinking-age-to-21-has-been-a-disasterous-30-year-experiment.

Steinbauer, James. “21 students hospitalized for alcohol consumption.” 14 Feb, 2017. The Miami Student. www.miamistudent.net/21-students-hospitalized-for-alcohol-consumption/.

Reflection

I am writing an argumentative essay toward the topic why I support the idea of lowering the legal drinking age to eighteen years old. After receiving the feedback from my professor and from the people in the Howe Writing Center, I finally have my final draft done. I revised my thesis statement so that it can be concise but still includes all the main points I want to mention in my body paragraphs. I make my three main points more solid by analyzing the reasons why I choose them as my arguments with data and some interviews from my friends. The major change I have made it narrowing down the essay into a specific community, which is Miami University community. I find more examples about what happened and how alcohol consumption impacts lives on campus. Finally, I copyedited my essay to make sure it is concise, avoiding digression. I also asked my friend to read over my essay again as for the last level-proofreading. My only weakness left is the refutation essay since I do not have much time to work on it to explain clearer about the opposite viewpoints from different people and organization.

After all, I realize that it is somewhat difficult to find a topic that is worth to argue, and to find statements that effectively support all the arguments. Also, I still have to mange to apply rhetorical concepts to make my text more persuasive. The most important thing that I have to be passionate about the topic and have to spend time do research on it to master the topic since I am the one who wants to persuade people to agree with me; otherwise, it is hard to make my statements strong enough.

Reflection

I am writing an argumentative essay toward the topic why I support the idea of lowering the legal drinking age to eighteen years old. After receiving the feedback from my professor and from the people in the Howe Writing Center, I finally have my final draft done. I revised my thesis statement so that it can be concise but still includes all the main points I want to mention in my body paragraphs. I make my three main points more solid by analyzing the reasons why I choose them as my arguments with data and some interviews from my friends. The major change I have made it narrowing down the essay into a specific community, which is Miami University community. I find more examples about what happened and how alcohol consumption impacts lives on campus. Finally, I copyedited my essay to make sure it is concise, avoiding digression. I also asked my friend to read over my essay again as for the last level-proofreading. My only weakness left is the refutation essay since I do not have much time to work on it to explain clearer about the opposite viewpoints from different people and organization.

After all, I realize that it is somewhat difficult to find a topic that is worth to argue, and to find statements that effectively support all the arguments. Also, I still have to mange to apply rhetorical concepts to make my text more persuasive. The most important thing that I have to be passionate about the topic and have to spend time do research on it to master the topic since I am the one who wants to persuade people to agree with me; otherwise, it is hard to make my statements strong enough.

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