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Drinking Age Controversy

The appropriate legal age for drinking alcohol has long been a matter of debate. College students and other teenagers believe they should be allowed to drink at 18, or even younger, while many parents and other authorities feel that the age of 21 is a more appropriate age. The government perennially reviews the legal drinking age in response to complaints from both sides of the controversy, but to date, it has allowed the states to determine the drinking age for themselves. Like other debates such as abortion and euthanasia, the one over drinking age is a political hot potato that many politicians refuse to touch. The debate is also characterized by heated emotional opinions on both sides that override the facts and make the issue confusing for many. This paper will examine the issues on both sides of the controversy, offering clarification on disputed points, insight on the ethics and morality governing the issue, and recommendations for a reasonable decision concerning what age to make the legal drinking age.

Arguments for Lowering the Drinking Age to 18

Many people feel that the reasons behind a 21-year-old drinking age are either inaccurate or insufficient. There are parents, in fact, who teach their children to drink at home from an early age, pointing out that their parents did this with them and they have not had a drinking problem as adults (ôHow to Reduce High-Risk College Drinking: Use Proven Strategies, Fill Research Gapsö). In many ethnic families, such as Jewish, French, and Italian families, childrenÆs drinking is an acceptable part of the culture and does not seem to result in a greater degree of alcoholism than elsewhere (ôHow to Reduce High-Risk College Drinking: Use Proven Strategies, Fill Research Gapsö). Some people also feel that the right to drink is a freedom that should not be violated by restrictions such as drinking age (Lenhart). They argue that if 18-year-olds are old enough to fight in a...

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Drinking Age Controversy. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 22:57, June 24, 2019, from