Halle McCain
Staff Writer

When you reach the age of eighteen, the entire world opens up. You are officially an adult with unlimited opportunities and few guidelines. You can live on your own, join the military, smoke a cigarette, and buy property. At the age of eighteen, you could fight in a war or legally be thrown into jail.

What can’t an eighteen year old do? Drink alcohol. The thought is confounding. A person is able to fight in a war and risk their life, but that individual is not able to drink a beer at a family barbecue.

To begin, most of the other well developed countries have a drinking age set at eighteen or lower, like France and the United Kingdom. Those countries do not have mass problems with alcohol abuse like the United States has. According to NBC news, in 2012 there were over 75,000 (about .00083% of the population) alcohol related deaths in the United States. However, in the United Kingdom, there were less than 9,000 (.000013%) alcohol related deaths that year. The United States, with a higher drinking age, has a much bigger problem with alcohol abuse than countries with more lenient drinking policies.

In the United States, alcohol is viewed as a substance that is abused, rather than enjoyed. Drinking alcohol is often considered a safety hazard and an impolite and classless gesture. In most other countries, alcohol is not a substance to be abused, and is not viewed in such a negative light. Alcohol is considered to be enjoyed in moderation and in calm social settings like a family dinner. Most teenagers from foreign countries drink small amounts of alcohol for the taste and the enjoyment, but in a classy manner.

Also, the fact that alcohol is illegal in the U.S. for teenagers makes them want to drink even more. Teenagers naturally have a very rebellious nature and generally tend to want what they are not supposed to have. They tend to find ways to acquire alcohol and drink it in unsafe and secretive settings. Lowering the drinking age would allow teens to drink alcohol in a safe environment like a restaurant. This would also boost the economy, providing small businesses with more frequent sales.

The United States is currently withholding the right to drink from teens, but more importantly forcing them to put themselves in unsafe situations. The ideal solution is to change the culture of alcohol in the United States. The way to do so is to mimic other countries’ success by lowering the drinking age to eighteen.

Leave a Reply.