christinawampler let adults drink
Many influential individuals are in favor of lowering the drinking age. Nobel Peace Prize nominee, David Swanson, who has a strong influence in interest groups such as ActionRoots. His proposal is to lower the drinking age to 18 and raise the age to fight in war to 21 (Swanson,"Lower Drinking Age, Raise Killing Age”). The reason for lowering the drinking age and lowering the age of enlisting in the military, is that war is arguably more harmful to an individual than drinking. If an 18 year old is allowed to risk his or her life, it makes sense that he or she would be mature enough to drink. Another activist, Robby Soave, is highly involved in the fight to lower the drinking age. He is the editor for Reason Magazine and has appeared on news stations such as Fox News, and CNN. Soave focuses on the dangers that come with teenagers seeking to obtain alcohol illegally. Soave states that it is “insane to force everybody to submit to an utterly failed restriction” (Soave, "Congress, End the Hangover: Abolish the Federal Drinking Age”). Soave has access to the media, which allows him to make a difference by making his claim heard. The restriction on drinking as he stated, has clearly not stopped everyone from drinking. For example, college is a commonplace that underage drinking is found. It is unambiguous that both sides have very politically active, and powerful people on their sides.
Although there is a minimum drinking age set, there are still countless numbers of underage drinkers in the United States. It is estimated by the Department of Health and Human Services, that there are 10.1 million underage drinkers in the United States ("NIH Fact Sheets - Underage Drinking."). The drinking laws clearly have not stopped youth from obtaining alcohol. It is impossible to stop all underage drinking. Currently, there are strict consequences to underage drinking. A first time offender of an underage DUI can be required to pay fines up to $2,500 or more, as well as the suspension of a driver's licence, and up to a year in jail ("Underage Drinking Penalties”). This means that an underage drinker only convicted for this relatively minor offense, and could be put in jail with individuals convicted of more intense crimes such as rape and murder. This is an incredibly dangerous environment for anyone, especially a teenager. The focus on convicting teenagers for drinking underage takes away from the focus on the more serious crimes. The police should have more focus on convicting the dangerous criminals than on stopping a college party. Even more dangerous, underage drinkers are less likely to seek medical attention due to alcohol related illnesses fearful of the consequences of being caught. If it were legal, then they could have help learning to regulate themselves, and have the ability to get medical help if they have an alcohol related problem.
Swanson, David. "Lower Drinking Age, Raise Killing Age." Lower Drinking Age, Raise Killing Age. CounterPunch, 3 Apr. 2015. Web. 14 May 2015. <http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/04/03/lower-drinking-age-raise-killing-age/>.
"Underage Drinking Penalties”. UnderageDrinkingFacts.Com. Underage Drinking Facts, n.d. Web. 14 May 2015. <http://www.underagedrinkingfacts.com/underagedrinkingpenalties.html>.
"NIH Fact Sheets - Underage Drinking." NIH Fact Sheets - Underage Drinking. US Department of Health and Human Resources, n.d. Web. 14 May 2015. <http://report.nih.gov/nihfactsheets/viewfactsheet.aspx?csid=21>.
Soave, Robby. "Congress, End the Hangover: Abolish the Federal Drinking Age." Reason.com. Reason.com, 06 Jan. 2015. Web. 14 May 2015. <http://reason.com/archives/2015/01/06/congress-end-the-hangover-abolish-the-fe>.