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why shouldn t the drinking age be lowered to 18

If you're allowed to join the military at the age of 18 and fight for your country, then you should be allowed to drink. Yes, alcohol may not be good for you, but it is their choice what they want to do with their bodies. I think it would a good idea to change the drinking age to the age of 18. The human brain doesn't fully develop until the mid- twenties, and by lowering the drinking age, it's causing the brain to be damaged more and more. When a teen starts drinking at an early age, it can lead up to alcoholism developing earlier in life. Also, drunk drivers kill someone every 48 minutes. If the age is lowered, then there will be more people dying quicker than there is now. Also, when teens start drinking at an early age, their younger siblings are subjected to drinking earlier because they follow in the siblings footsteps. Over three times the amount of eighth grade girls have committed suicide because of drinking, compared the the amount that don't drink. Drinking at a young age damages the learning and/or memorization process in the brain. Every time you drink, part of your brain is impaired. Alcohols stimulating effects are replaced by an anesthetic effects that causes depression, and when teens are depressed, sometimes they commit suicide. You get full rights at 18 BUT drinking. Yes i agree with most of the other opinions below. If you can die and hold a gun, you should be able to vote. If you are able to vote, you should able to drink. I believe that is a fair argument. As of underage drinking is seen as a forbidden fruit. It will be less tempting and people will learn more responsibility if it was allowed. I left the marines. anybody under 21 should too! I decided to leave the marines when i was denied access to a tent at a concert because I was under 21 and I feel that I shouldnt risk my life for a bunch of hyprocrites who think they should be allowed to drink but Im not mature enough but I am mature enough to get shot at and risk my life. This country is very far from being free and is not worth anybodys life fighting for it, quit waisting your time. enough said! 18 is the proper age to drink beer! Many adults believe that young adults are not mature to drink but do they really know whats best for us. it doesnt matter whether you are 17, 21, or 30 it still hits you the same.

If you were to make the wrong descision so be it it's our problem and if our elders don't want to teach us the right path, then they have themselves to blame. Most if not all of those against lowering the age say teens are irresponsible. They are right, but only for those under 18. Yes, there still be danger, but isn't that the same for anyone that drinks? Also, almost all teens know the dangers of drinking and driving. They are as much prone to it than those "of age". It should be lowered to 18 because they are able to be held responsible for everything else, like voting, joining the military if desired, any crime committed, etc. Since you are, by law, considered an adult then you should be trusted to make your own grown up decisions about drinking. It's hard to imagine asking someone to die for your rights, including the right to drink a cold one, while denying them the same rights
As a young adult under the age of 21, I feel it is so important that our government either lower the drinking age, or raise the age for everything else. I am not only considered an adult in the eyes of the law, but I am also able to adopt a child, purchase tobacco, get a tattoo or piercing, SERVE AND RISK MY LIFE FOR OUR COUNTRY, give blood (save other lives), and vote, among other things. I should be able to sit down, and enjoy a beer. If you can vote and be drafted into the army to risk your life, then you should be able to drink. There are so many more responsibilites that come with being 18 and drinking would just be a milestone that teens get to enjoy. If teens can risk their lives to be in the army then why shouldn't they be able to drink? They have already been driving for two years and would be less tempted to drink and drive because they wouldn't have to hide it from their parents. If an 18 year old is able to vote and be drafted or join the military then why can't they drink? An 18 year old is able to do almost every thing but not drink. That is wrong and shows that they can't be trusted when a lot of them are responsible and they won't drink and drive. Vermont native Kyle Gilbert was killed in Iraq almost two years ago, but before the 20-year-old shipped out to war he couldn't join his buddies at a local bar for a goodbye drink.

And one lawmaker from the Green Mountain State thinks that's wrong. "It just doesn't sit right with me that people [at the age of 18] have the right to do everything else, including serve their country, but don't have the right to consume alcohol," state Rep. Richard Marron said. "It's a form of age discrimination. " The Republican has proposed a bill to lower the drinking age in Vermont to 18. He has gained support from other lawmakers -- 17 others have signed on as co-sponsors -- but many others are against it. Wendy Hamilton, the national president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, disagreed with Marron's comparison of drinking at 18 to gaining the right to vote or buying cigarettes. "The right to vote isn't going to kill you; drinking at age 18 could," she said. MADD and the Chrysler Group on Wednesday launched a "21 Turns 21: Lifesaving Milestones" campaign celebrating the anniversary of the 1984 law making 21 the legal drinking age nationwide. The proposed bill is not likely to pass in Vermont because the state would lose about $9. 7 million in federal funding for highways, a provision of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984. The act required all states to raise their minimum age for purchase and public possession of alcohol to 21. Non-compliance would have meant a reduction in highway funds under the Federal Highway Aid Act. Marron argues this law is an example of the "federal government intruding where it doesn't belong. Federal highway funding shouldn't be tied to whether or not someone is able to drink. " Hamilton, of course, disagrees, and says the law "has been the most effective drunk driving law in history. " The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 22,798 lives have been saved from 1975 to 2003 from the raised drinking age. The agency also says that these laws have reduced traffic fatalities involving 18- to 20-year-olds by 13 percent. Before the national law came into effect in 1984, states had differing minimum drinking ages. A spokeswoman from the NHTSA explained that any state in that time that had a minimum drinking age above the age of 18 is included in these numbers. Marron contends that drinking and driving is not the issue at hand. "We should discourage that for all of us," he said.

Hamilton gives another reason for not legalizing drinking for 18-year-olds: it affects the brain. "We know a whole lot more now than we did in 1984 -- adolescent brain development doesn't really end until the early to mid-20s," she said. Recent studies from the National Institutes of Health found that brains are not fully developed at 18, perhaps not even until 25. Further, the NIH found that alcohol use at a young age can seriously affect brain development and can increase the likelihood of adult dependency. A Forbidden Fruit? When asked if 18-year-olds would just drink the same way 21-year-olds do -- marking birthdays with shots in the quantity of their age -- Marron contested that when he was 18 ("about five decades ago"), he was permitted to drink. He would go to parties with his parents where adults and his friends consumed alcoholic drinks in separate rooms "in what I considered to be an appropriate manner. " Numbers show that times may have changed in those five decades. A survey by the U. S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that in 2003, 71. 8 percent of 18- to 20-year-olds consumed alcohol in the past year. Slightly more than 36 percent of 18- to 20-year-olds said they had participated in binge drinking within the past month -- binge drinking is defined by SAMHSA as consuming five or more drinks on the same occasion at least once. Heavy drinking is binge drinking on more than five occasions in the past month, and 13. 1 percent of 18- to 20-year-olds admitted to that. Advocates of lowering the drinking age use examples such as this to make the forbidden-fruit argument. That if 18-year-olds could drink, it would take away some of the excitement of having to wait until 21. Whether or not younger teens would then start drinking earlier with 18 as the new legal age is unknown. For now, SAMSHA's survey shows that in 2003, 34. 3 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds used alcohol in the past year. Of teens 12- to 17-years-old, 17. 7 percent used in the past month, 10. 6 percent binged in the last month, and 2. 6 percent considered themselves heavy drinkers based on SAMSHA's description. So the idea that younger teens could start abusing alcohol while waiting for their 18th birthday is not completely out of the question.

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