In Europe the legal drinking age is 16, most of the world has the legal drinking age set at 18 with the exceptions of a few countries, like Japan and Iceland, where the age is 20, and South Korea at age 19, the US has the highest drinking age in the world, set at 21 years old. There are even a handful of countries that have no age limit. In efforts to prevent drunk driving and car accidents due to drunk driving, the US has taken on an extremely conservative approach to the drinking age. Many people disagree with the legal drinking age of 21, myself being one of those people (I'm 32 for those wondering). The problem with this conservative way of thinking is that it becomes more desirable for teens to drink. Most teenagers have the need for attention from their peers. By breaking the law, they become the latest gossip or the cool kid, because he is drinking. Teens also associate drinking with being mature, the mentality is that if they are drinking, they must be viewed as mature, and therefore respected. Some people even believe that teens find it exciting to sneak into bars with fake ID’s, therefore the drinking is still there. Then there is the age old argument that “If I am old enough to die for my country, then why can’t I have a drink”. Which is a valid enough argument, at 18 a person can do everything, enter into contract, buy property, have credit, marry and even give their life for this country, but our government won’t allow them to have a glass of champagne at their own wedding. Regardless of all the efforts, and money spent, it seems as though this extreme legal drinking age hasn’t solved the problem. All the millions of dollars that tax-payers are spending, would more affectively be spent on education. I believe that the age should be lowered to eighteen, and then all this money could be better spent on educating our youth on drinking responsibly. Europe doesn’t have the drinking problem that we have in this country, young teens grow up being educated about drinking within the family environment.
The Drinking Age, 21 – an Unjustifiable Burden?