Beer GlassIn 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?
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11 thoughts on “The Drinking Age, 21 – an Unjustifiable Burden?

  • December 28, 2007 at 6:01 pm
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    I absolutely agree that the drink age should be lowered to 18, it is completely ridiculous that I, as a 19 year old, am unable to have even a glass of wine when by all other measure I am a responsible adult. It makes me feel very patronized and pissed off. A higher drinking age doesn’t stop anyone who really wants to drink and it is naive to think it does.

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  • December 29, 2007 at 10:33 pm
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    Yeah i definitly agree that the age to drink should be 18 or 16

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  • June 10, 2008 at 10:00 pm
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    This was a very well-thought-out article and covered all of the points of the argument effectively. I totally agree with you about this and I loved your closing sentence. Basically, drinking and driving is the crime and should be treated as attempted murder. Whereas age has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not you will enter a car intoxicated.

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  • August 7, 2008 at 10:52 pm
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    Who am I a kid?? I thought when you turn 20 or 18 it meant that ur a damn adult. The 21 drinking law saids otherwise.

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  • September 14, 2008 at 8:36 pm
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    I completely agree with this article, i just wrote an essay about lowering the drinking age, and you covered all of my points. I am currently 20 years old. I have been married for over a year and I couldn’t legally drink at my wedding, or anytime after. My husband will soon return from an 8 month deployment to Iraq, and even then I won’t be able to celebrate by sharing a drink with him. So much for giving our troops and their families support!

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  • October 11, 2008 at 4:39 pm
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    untrue, only in some states is it illegal to drink alcohol under 21…
    underage americans can drink, but can’t buy it

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  • October 11, 2008 at 4:54 pm
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    also your wrong about us having more of a drinking problem… only about 35% of americans drink… in europe its more liked 75-80%…
    waaay more…

    i agree that the drinking age should be lowered though…but not for the same reasons. I think drinking problems are more individual. age doesn’t necesarrily have anything to do with it. also i agree legal adults (18) should be able to drink. also culture might play a role. in turkey only 20% of the citizens drink, and their drinking age is 21….
    U.K. has the same law, but 75% of their citizens drink!
    so I’m thinking it may have more to do with culture than age… so that makes me think we should change the drinking age to 18 even more…

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    Andy Reply:

    Spouting off random %’s do not make you appear smart. Citation’s are your friend.

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  • July 14, 2010 at 4:17 am
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    why do a lot of you think that europe and in particular the uk only allow drinking at 21? it has always been 18. don’t know where you get your facts from.

    also, you say 75% of the uk drinks. do you mean adults who have ever drunk alcohol, or people who hve a drinking problem? because if you mean the former, that number is too low, but if you mean the latter, it is ridiculously high.

    please, ameritards, at least take 5 seconds to google something. if you’re not going to have a clue about anything outside of the us, then you can’t participate in discussions on the subject.

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  • July 14, 2010 at 4:17 am
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    why do a lot of you think that europe and in particular the uk only allow drinking at 21? it has always been 18. don’t know where you get your facts from.

    also, you say 75% of the uk drinks. do you mean adults who have ever drunk alcohol, or people who hve a drinking problem? because if you mean the former, that number is too low, but if you mean the latter, it is ridiculously high.

    please, ameritards, at least take 5 seconds to google something. if you’re not going to have a clue about anything outside of the us, then you can’t participate in discussions on the subject.

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  • October 2, 2012 at 1:17 pm
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    I live in Canada, and we laugh at you Americans. This is a no brainer in the supreme. Adult responsibilities equal adult privileges. If you disagree with that it is not an opinion it is idiocy. By the way I’m 32, I just have a brain in my head. Unlike the people who decided the age of your right to purchase. It’s sad really when some Canadian random understands common sense liberty more than a panal of American bureaucrats.

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