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Introduction I. It is legal for each one of us, as adults, to drive cars, fly planes, vote, marry, pay taxes, take out loans, and risk our lives in the armed forces. Yet, it is illegal for us to sit down to have a drink in a controlled, supervised atmosphere, or even sip champagne at your own wedding. II. Remorseless drinking has long been a ritual of university life. Whatever the legal drinking age limit, it seems people are beginning to drink at younger and younger ages.
After all, over 90 % of you consume alcohol on an average of more than once a week. Efforts to decrease excessive alcohol consumption like stricter rules on campus only push the parties off campus and raise of the legal drinking age from 18 to 21 in the 80 s merely increased the business of creating fake IDs. It is time to take action and resolve many of the underage and irresponsible drinking problems our nation endures. III. Because of my interest and desire to help eliminate irresponsible drinking, alcoholism, and underage problems, I have done a large amount of research to provide sufficient evidence of why to support my argument. Also, I am in the age group that our nations minimum drinking age directly affects, and I feel that I have the knowledge that our nations authority will never see first hand.
IV. Because the minimum drinking age is set too high, many problems with the law, binge drinking, and irresponsibility arise, therefore we need to lower the drinking age, as well as become more proactive with todays youth. (Signpost: Many people are in agreement with the restriction to consume alcohol until 21, others say that it should be raised, however, the legal drinking age causes more problems than it prevents. ) Body I. The minimum drinking age causes many avoidable problems, such as binge drinking, which lead to further complications with drinking. A. The high drinking age creates an artificial desire among minors to abuse alcohol. 1. Ruth C.
Eng's, Professor of Applied Health Science at Indiana University explained how this is the Forbidden Fruit effect that was seen during National prohibition in the 1920 s and state prohibition during the 1850 s. a) These laws actually increase consumption and binge drinking; as the high legal drinking age does now. b) They were repealed because they were unenforceable and because the backlash towards them caused other social problems. c) Today we are repeating history and making the same mistakes that occurred in the past.
Prohibition did not work then and prohibition for young people under the age of 21 is not working now. 2. By setting such a high legal standard, minors have begun enjoying the frivolity of law breaking. They are going to drink whatever the law says, and are simply inconvenienced on how to do so. a) In my survey of the class, by personal experience, 11 out of 15 of you feel many teenagers drink to rebel against parents and society. b) In an interview, Dr. Eng's says, Drinking is seen by youth as a badge of rebellion against authority and a symbol of adulthood. 3.
The increase in drinking age has not only been ineffective, but actually counter-productive. a) As stated in the article, Minimum Drinking-Age Laws Are Ineffective, drinking tends to be highly valued among students even more so because it is illegal for most of them to purchase or consume it. b) An article in USA Today published that 3, 375 students at 56 colleges across the country revealed that after the drinking age was changed, significantly more under-age students drank compared to those of legal age. (Transition: Because drinking is seen by youth as an enticing forbidden fruit, a majority of students consume alcohol in an irresponsible manner. ) B. Todays legal drinking age is unrealistic because it creates an atmosphere where binge drinking and alcohol abuse have become a problem, especially on college campuses. 1.
Jeffrey Kluger, author of How to Manage Teen Drinking, states that often college administrators have to deal directly with the most reckless drinking. a) In studies throughout the 1990 s by the Harvard School of Public Health, the percentage of college students who reported binge drinking as defined as consuming five consecutive drinks at least once in the past two weeks remained steady at 44 %. b) Legal liability with binge drinking in colleges is of great concern. Milwaukee Institute of Technology chose to avoid a lawsuit by paying out $ 6 million last year to the parents of a freshman who drank himself to death at a fraternity initiation. 2. As published in the New York Times, Middlebury president John McCardell states, The 21 year drinking age has not reduced drinking on campuses, it has increased it. a) Society expects colleges to graduate students who have been educated to drink responsibly, but obviously this law has severely restricted the ability to do that.
b) According to the article, It Makes Sense to Lower the Drinking Age to 19, published last year in the Madison Capital Times, not only is the number of students drinking rapidly rising, the number of students binge drinking is rising as well. 3. Too many minors irresponsibly consume alcohol. As shown in my class survey, 93 % of you agreed with this opinion. a) Proving the reality behind this class opinion, a study conducted by Indiana University Applied Health Sciences reports that 22 % of all students under 21, compared to 18 % over 21, are binge drinkers. b) A document titled, The Minimum Drinking Age in Wisconsin, states that among drinkers, 32 % of underage compared to 24 % of legal age are binge drinkers.
c) A newspaper article, Drinking Will Go On Regardless of IDs, proclaims that efforts to prevent drinking are unenforceable and create serious social problems such as widespread disrespect for law and the development of irresponsible consumption patterns. 4. The law is not respected and in large part ignored. This lessens respect for the rule of law in general. a) Because the law will never be fully enforced, the crime rate inflates.
Police detain perfectly responsible minors who drink. Now does this seem just? b) As published in the article, Minimum Drinking Age Laws Are Ineffective, a Harvard student states, It is far easier to order marijuana than beer, because the bar that sells a beer to the minor and is caught in the act could lose his entire capital plant: his liquor license, his bar, and his inventory. The marijuana dealer generally has a capital plant that constitutes the depth of his pockets. He is booked, the drugs are confiscated and perhaps a few hundred dollars he accumulated, and back he goes on the street to resume selling illegal pot. 5.
Because the drinking age is 21, drinking is more dangerous and causes much more irresponsible drinking than it ever did at 18. a) The article How to Manage Teen Drinking states that when the drinking age went up, teenagers did not stop drinking; their parties were merely moved underground to homes, cars, frats, fields, anywhere and everywhere. i. Written in an article published in the Madison Capital Times, the increased legal drinking age caused unsupervised binge drinking, as well as fights, vandalizing, stealing, and complete recklessness. b) This article also expresses that the restriction influences minors to drink as much alcohol as they can hold before the evening begins so that the buzz lasts as long as possible. i.
This behavior only increases the chances of other problems such as drunk driving and alcohol poisoning. c) As written in Why the Drinking Age Should Be Lowered, five years before the drinking age was changed to 21, roughly 46 % of students reported vomiting after drinking. This jumped to over 50 % after the law changed. d) As reported in a recently published article in USA Today, significant increase among college students was also found in other problems caused by alcohol.
Cutting class after drinking jumped from 9 % to almost 12 %; missing class because of a hangover, getting lower grades because of drinking, being in a fight after drinking have all increased after the new drinking age was determined in 1987. These are behaviors that result from irresponsible drinking, due to underground drinking. (Transition: If teenagers believe drinking is raging on campus, might they be more inclined to follow the vast stereotype of college and drinking, or would moderation seem much more attractive if they knew that the heavy drinkers were not the majority? ) II. Our current prohibition intended against alcohol consumption by young people (but yet, adults) is clearly not effective. Therefore, to reduce drinking problems, we need to replace the failure with two realistic and successful approaches lower the drinking age and educate. A. There are a very large number of people ages 18 - 20 that irresponsibly drink regardless of the law.
The solution of disallowing them to drink has proved counterproductive. Fighting to make alcohol legally accessible to all adults ages 18 and up can diminish teen-age alcohol abuse. 1. The illicitness of underage drinking makes it more appealing, therefore, teens beginning college would not be so excited to party uncontrollably if they already were allowed to drink. 2. As Bronson Dane states in his article, Lowering the drinking age would decrease the number of campus drinking problems, binge drinking, and drunken driving.
a) If students are allowed in clubs and bars, they will be in a more controlled party where bouncers and bartenders watch over the students and prevent serious problems. i. The bars will cost more than 3 bucks for a cup, will ensure a safe ride home, and stop all drinking at 2: 00. b) Many campus officials recommend accepting that students are going to drink and to encourage them to do it safely by lowering the drinking age. 3. Lowering the drinking age would help send the important message that drinking is not evidence of maturity, but responsible consumption for those who chose to drink is evidence of maturity. a) There is no reason that an 18 year old cannot drink as responsibly, or even more responsibly than a 23 year old.
B. Combined with a realistic drinking age, the solution is to educate young adults in how to drink responsibly. 1. People become responsible by being properly taught, given responsibility, and then held accountable for their actions. a) According to Dr. Eng's who conducted extensive research on college drinking, drinking problems are reduced when young people learn at home from their parents how to drink in a moderate and responsible manner. 2. With the focus on education about safe drinking instead of restriction, many problems would be averted.
We need to change our ways and learn how to drink gradually, safely, and in moderation. a) Responsible drinking could be taught through role modeling and educational programs. 3. An article written by Jeffrey Kluger states that college students almost always guess too high when asked how much drinking takes place on their campuses. a) Because of these findings, Professor H.
Wesley Perkins, who conducted a study on college drinking, publicized the fact that a majority of students on campus drank twice a week or less and that three-quarters of the alcohol on campus was consumed by just one-third of the students. b) After the first two years of publicizing these facts, the university measured a 21 % drop in high-risk drinking. i. The incidence of missed classes, unprotected sex, property damage, and liquor-law violations also decreased. Conclusion I. (Signal Ending) In conclusion, there are a countless number of problems with excessive drinking that harm our society today. II. (Reinforce Central Idea) I have brought to your attention two very effective solutions to this problem that we need to become proactive on.
All of the arguments for having a raised drinking level or retaining the current one are weak. By working towards lowering the drinking age, educating, and promoting responsible drinking to children, teen-agers, and very importantly, college students, our society can endeavor to eliminate the severe problems with alcohol that exist.
Free research essays on topics related to: minimum drinking age, legal drinking age, binge drinking, binge drinkers, lowering the drinking age
Research essay sample on Minimum Drinking Age Legal Drinking Age