The Drinking Age Should Be Abolished Essay — страница 2

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simple choice. The average age of drunk drivers is thirty-nine, suggesting that drunk driving is not as problematic among young people. In fact, polls suggest young people are much more afraid of drunk driving than adults. Maybe the solution is to make penalties for a DUI more severe and consistently enforced for all age groups. In Europe, where alcohol is much more socially acceptable for a broader age range, drunk driving is not tolerated. Although I support abolishing the laws restricting drinking, there is an important difference between this policy change and one that increases severity for drunk driving. Abolishing an age restriction on alcohol will protect children from drinking in dangerous environments without understanding alcohol?s effects. A tougher stance on driving

under the influence will protect everyone on the road. Instead of taking away people?s choices, which hurt the responsible and the irresponsible alike, we should simply punish the irresponsible more sternly. Drunk driving is a tragic problem with dire consequences, but the United States must acknowledge that enforcing responsibility is more effective than criminalizing something that kids do anyway. The ironic part of anti-drinking groups such as Mothers Against Destructive Decisions (MADD) is that they argue for the present drinking age because of the statistics showing a correlation between an increased drinking age and less alcohol-related car crashes, yet MADD deserves much of the credit for the decrease in drunk driving. The drinking problem in America can be attributed to

society?s failure to address the issues surrounding alcohol. Groups like MADD shift this paradigm to one of openness and discussion. Although they oppose drinking ?which is less successful than accepting its presence and dealing with it?they promote the values of teaching children about the dangers of alcohol and its potentially hazardous influence on the mind and body. They are extremely against underage drinking of any kind, but this type of education needs to be paralleled with an even broader societal candidness that accepts alcohol as part of the culture. The classic argument against the drinking age, or at least in favor of lessening the limitation to include those over eighteen year of age, is the inconsistency of rights granted at certain ages. At eighteen a person can

vote for the leader of the free world and die defending his or her country. Eighteen-year-olds can smoke, gamble, and buy pornography. In the eyes of the law they are adults with complete sovereignty, yet they cannot enjoy a beer after a hard day?s work. Therefore, many argue for a drinking age of eighteen. The intrinsic problem in setting any specific age is that completely restricting access to alcohol before an exact birthday is still avoiding the issue. Instead, we need to confront the issue of alcohol by letting it run its course in society and in the lives of our children. Kids will drink no matter what laws stand in their way and it is time we accept that fact. We should teach young adults how to drink responsibly instead of completely denying them access to alcohol. Young

people need to be led away from environments where the consumption of alcohol is exciting for the illicitness of the deed itself. Why is education so important? Because by over-protecting our kids, our culture makes alcohol mysterious and intriguing. Through education, kids learn what alcohol does to the body and why it is dangerous. They must also learn why it is a prominent part of American culture. Why would this work? Because it works in other countries. Anyone who has been to Europe can attest to the fact that among college students and even high school students, drinking is no big deal. Students drink, but the binge drinking so common on college campuses in America is rare. Teenagers grow up in households where they can have a glass of wine with dinner, teaching them that

alcohol can be enjoyed in small quantities, and not simply to get drunk. There must be a strong focus on family. We must have open communication between parents and their children about drinking. There need to be places where young adults can meet safely under supervision. We need to get kids with kegs out of dirty basements and underage drinkers with ?40oz.?s? out of the alleys. My view that kids should learn about alcohol by trying it must not be construed to include illegal drugs. They are simply not as prevalent in our society. Kids associate illegal drugs with criminals, not with their parents, as is the case with alcohol. It seems as though in school kids learn more about illicit drugs than they do about alcohol. Knowing the effects of drugs is important, but there is a