Alcohol has been an ongoing issue for many many years. It has been causing deaths, creating health problems, and destroying families. Originally the drinking age in the US was 18 but was soon changed to 21 in the 1980’s because of the constant high car fatalities. Many types of changes has been made throughout the years within specific states and counties, but the issue was not getting anywhere and was continuing to cause problems.
A certain group of mothers wanted to take a stance and created a group called Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). They played a major role here because in the 1980s the fatalities were at the highest and they wanted to make a change in teenagers life. The death rates went up from 10 to 40 percent in states that had brought down the age. In 1982, just fourteen states had the age of twenty-one. After the drinking age was raised, fatalities were diminished by 13 percent. After the drinking age in some states were raised once again MADD rose to action to make all states bring the drinking age to 21.The University of Minnesota did a case study on linking past and current debates with the minimum legal drinking age of 21. They start off with explaining how after the prohibition ended most states agreed to keep the drinking age to 21 years.
It was only until after that 29 states lowered it to 18, 19 and 20. Years later because of the many events that were occurring, they saw that there was a significant increase in crashes amongst 18-20 year olds, therefore allowing the federal government to pass the National Minimum Legal Drinking Act. “Several years later, however, due to numerous factors including research evidence showing a rise in traffic crashes among 18–20-year-olds, some states that had lowered their MLDA returned it to 21” They also mentioned how the Reagan Administration recognized the threat and importance of underagred drinking and how it can lead to negative impacts. President Reagan created a group to increase public awareness of drunk driving and helping persuade the states to have a better understanding of this issue. This group was made to organize and encourage states to combat this issue with obtaining public support.
The case study moves on with explaining some key influences that made the drinking age 21. Some states changed the age voluntarily while others changed because of financial pressure from the federal government. Two active groups that were made was Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Remove Intoxicated Driver (RID). “They were two advocacy organizations involved directly in the national debate to increase the drinking age. Both organizations grew across communities and states during the early 1980s. These organizations included many volunteers who were victims of drinking and driving.” After these key factors and with the help of these groups expanding the social movement, a poll was made and indicated that “77% of the public were in favor of the law” to raise the drinking age to 21 in all states.
The case study concluded with “Given that lives of many young people are at stake, we cannot afford to forget the high cost the United States already paid when it lowered its minimum legal drinking age.” This strong line shows how we cannot afford to lose more innocent lives due to underaged drinking. They are wanting to show how this is happening constantly and we should keep the age at 21 to not risk more lives. Many statistics has been calculated to show the average amount of deaths caused by drinking, and the majoirty is because of underaged drinking. One of the highest causes of death are car accidents, specifically leading to drinking and driving. According to the National Institute on Alcohol and Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) statistics show that more than 1,700 student deaths, nearly 600,000 injuries, and nearly 700,000 result from execessive underaged drinking each year.They say your brain is not fully developed until you are 25.
Therefore teens should not drink alcoholic beverages because their central nervous system is still developing, his neural pathways are more susceptible and, the use of alcohol can abuse of several functions. The use of alcohol in teenagers can bring about changes and emotional, cognitive, social and physiological problems. In addition to various problems, teens have characteristics that make alcohol a more dangerous substance than for most adults:• Claiming attitude – this feature can lead teenagers to break rules, not only to drink alcohol but to go too far and drink too much.• The search for independence, the separation of parents are also characteristics that can cause teenagers to consume alcohol as a form of belonging to the adult world, or something like: “I am not a child, I grew up, I’m an adult, I can do adult things now, like drinking for example. “• The evolution of sexuality and the search for partners may also favor the use of alcohol as a substance that helps the teen to overcome the shyness of the first attempts at sexual approximation.
• Compared to adults, teens get drunk much faster because they have a lower body mass, less alcohol tolerance, and inexperience with their effects, which makes them unable to control the amount, making it harder to control the amount consumed.• Finally, adolescents are generally very vulnerable to peer pressure, a feature that makes it difficult to refuse invitations to drink.In conclusion, Bringing down the drinking age would have risky results: Teens that consume alcohol are more prone to liquor addiction as well as to building up a sickness because of the alcohol earlier than others, is has been an ongoing debate in the past on whether the drinking age should be changed and according to past research the best option is leaving the drinking at 21 is the best way. By leaving it we can save many lives, whether if it’s saving a life from a car accident or saving someone’s life socially or saving their life by avoiding their chances of getting sick. “Don’t let alcohol be the last taste of your life.”