The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Lowering the drinking age could lessen the dangerous thrill

The consumption of alcohol for social or celebratory purposes has been firmly rooted in traditional Western civilization for well over 2,000 years.’ Now when you consider a modern superpower, like the United States, and look at alcohol as the legal toxin of choice, one cannot help but question the lawful age at which to purchase it.’

At 21, a young adult could be married, buy cigarettes, perhaps start a family of their own, or even worse, have returned from a gruesome war having retained painful memories likely to last a lifetime.’ One can drive a car in this country at 16 and register to vote at 18.’ Yet the dilemma of the legal drinking age still looms in the background.’

A group by the name of the Amethyst Initiative has recently caused a bit of controversy over the issue of the legal drinking age in this country by having about 100 college officials sign a petition requesting that national law makers revisit the issue as mentioned at the DUI info guide’s website.

American media seems to pride itself on the constant bombardment of alcohol and its glamour as seen through attractive male and female models plastered all over the television and Internet.’ Postponing the age at which to legally acquire it after constant teasing gives it more appeal to today’s youth.’

However, misused alcohol abuse can have disastrous effects.’ Households can be destroyed along with personal lives.’ Drunk driving is an obvious social outcome of its negative side effects.’ Under age drinking is quite evident in this country, as it appears to be more than a growing problem.’

These young people are not to be blamed, though at least not wholeheartedly.’ Not when the real responsibility lies in the inaccurate portrayal of the intoxicant.’

Perhaps if the legal drinking age was lowered to 18, the unequivocal longing of its deceptive effects would be learned at a younger age. At least the thrill of engaging in illegal activity just for the sake of it would be removed.

On the flip side there is opposition to reducing the legal drinking age in this country. In cataloguing a brief history of the legal drinking age of the U.S. at the Why21? website a few reasons are given as to why that age has remained since the mid-1980s. At the peak of the Vietnam War at the beginning of the 1970s, several states began reducing the drinking age to more closely correlate with those soldiers who were enlisted and of legal voting age.

It soon became apparent that the issue was not being alleviated.’ Some states complied with the 21 and older drinking age, while others were not as evidently enthused. Teenagers created a loophole in the legal system known as ‘blood borders.’ In essence meaning that the youth would travel in between states where the drinking ages varied and cross back to their respective states leaving a ‘bloody’ trail of fatalities, injuries and automobile accidents throughout the borders.

On July 17, 1984 President Reagan ended the controversial dispute by signing the Uniform Drinking Age Act giving all of the country’s states five years to adopt 21 as the legal drinking age.’ In a timely fashion, by 1988, the law was firmly established in all states.

The United States has the highest drinking age in the world just above Japan and Iceland, as stated on the DUI info guide’s website.’ There is no simple, easy, or for that matter, correct solution to this obvious and fragile problem.’ Perhaps the most logical answer to resolve the issue would be to gauge each individual’s level of responsibility and maturity when it comes to the consumption of alcohol.

Authority figures, more particularly parental persons, would have to enforce their discretion carefully, deciding when to allow a young person to drink unsupervised.’ ‘

Of course, the issue can be narrowed down to the topic of responsibility.’ Drinking requires an understanding of self-control and moderation.’

Now if a person is not in a position, or is unwilling to recognize that fact, maybe they shouldn’t be ordering that last drink.

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