National Minimum Drinking Age

In: English and Literature

Submitted By katkin
Words 1770
Pages 8
Today, the consumption of alcohol by anyone under the age of 21 is generally illegal across the United States; however, there are some states that have exceptions allowing underage consumption of alcohol in certain circumstances. Underage drinking is allowed if done on private premises with parental consent or for religious purposes. In Ruth Engs’ opinion, based upon her research, “as a nation we have tried prohibition legislation twice in the past for controlling irresponsible drinking problems. This was during National Prohibition in the 1920’s and State Prohibition during the 1850’s. These laws were finally repealed because they were unenforceable and because the backlash towards them caused other social problems. Today we are repeating history and making the same mistakes that occurred in the past. Prohibition did not work then and prohibition for young people under the age of 21 is not working now” (Engs). On many campuses around the country, led by the so-called Amethyst Initiative, the legal drinking age continues to be a controversial issue since it is believed that “twenty-one is not working” (Sanghavi).
The old familiar argument is that turning 18 bestows the rights and responsibilities of adulthood such as voting, serving on juries, getting married, signing contracts, joining the military, buying cigarettes, watching porn and upon prosecution, trial as an adult. If adults from the age of 18 are trusted to do all of these things, they should also be trusted to make decisions about alcohol consumption. Some proponents find this predicament unconstitutional because it is discriminatory against the particular age group of anyone under 21. And even though the legal purchase age is 21, a majority of college students under this age consume alcohol but irresponsibly. This is because drinking is seen as an enticing "forbidden fruit," a "badge of…...

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