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Persuasion Essay on The Drinking Age

The question of what the legal drinking age should be has supporters in every age bracket. Some people think the age should be at least 21, because legalizing drinking for earlier age groups starts them drinking sooner; this means that not only will they start drinking when they are less mature, they will probably also drink for more years. Others believe that 16-year-olds should be able to drink legally, because they will do it whether it is legal or not and are more likely to do it irresponsibly if it is illegal. Still others believe that 18 is a better age because it coincides with the right to vote. Dr. Ruth Engs, Professor of Applied Health Sciences at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, believes that raising the drinking age to 21 had the same negative effects as Prohibition; it promoted abusive drinking. She proposes that 18-year-olds be allowed to drink in socially controlled environments such as restaurants and official university functions as well as under the direct supervision of their parents in their own homes (ôThe Drinking Age Should Be Lowered: Interview with Dr. Ruth Engsö). In spite of many good arguments for each of these ages, the best legal drinking age is 21.

The argument that 16-year-olds will drink whether it is legal or not is one that has been used to justify other forbidden teen activities, such as premarital sex and abortion. Although it may be true that there are teens who will drink in spite of the law, bending the law to allow them to drink legally is not only the wrong thing to do, it is driven by the wrong motivationùfear. If all the parents who feared that their teens were going to drink just stepped back and said, ôYouÆll probably do it anyway; have at it,ö not only would a much larger number of teens drink, they would be getting that activity sanctioned by their parents. Even if every teenager in the country pledged to drink


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Persuasion Essay on The Drinking Age. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 16:00, December 06, 2021, from