Drinking is not the problem, it’s how we approach it
Young teens all get a bad rep when it comes to drinking alcohol. Especially college students that are considered “binge drinkers”. When in reality a nation wide survey of students at 168 colleges and university’s found some interesting things about the underage corrupt youth. 93% of all students have never received a lower grade in a class because of drinking too much. 98% of all college students say that they have never gotten into trouble from an administrator from excessive drinking. While the media continually gives the under twenty one community a bad rep, in reality they are continually practicing safe drinking habits and in some cases not drinking at all. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse by the Institute for Social Research of the University of Michigan, the proportion of non-drinkers in the U.S. just reached a record breaking all time high. The point is that college students drink less than what most people think and are in reality responsible drinkers. So what can be done to change the drinking law to eighteen again? These underage students continually spite the law and show that they can handle the responsibility. It is silly to overlook this and maintain a blind law such as the current drinking law.
The first step into taking this law and changing it back to eighteen is to start at home and inform the children at a young age the harms and hazards of alcohol. It is not something to take lightly and it can lead to many life long problems. However I feel if this is taught at an early age and drinking is looked at as a privileged rather than a right it will be abused and rather something that will not be taking for granted. This will make drinking in small portions more commonplace and drinking in an excessive manner a rarity. Drinking would no longer be a big deal. Young children start off learning the dangers of drinking and would eventually start drinking at family events like they do in other foreign countries. These countries do this and do not have a major drinking problem in their society. By the time these children get to the age of 18 it will be legal to purchase and legally drink and it will not be a big deal because they have been taught responsible drinking from the start. This is an obvious start to fixing and changing this law, however it would be difficult to change the social and family traditions of America. It would take time, but this would be the first and most vital step to making this must needed change to work properly.
Another step that should be made in order for this law to be taken is to increase the amount of drinking and driving laws. Drunk driving should not be tolerated of any kind. Punishment should be increased and the current zero tolerance policy should remain if not made harsher. This would make anti drinking organizations such as M.A.D.D. and S.A.D.D. happy for the drinking and driving aspect. Defensive driving courses would also be made readily available in high schools throughout the country. It would be a mandatory course to take. This would be a regulation because in most cases there will be a small percentage of drunk drivers on the road still. There are more and more teenage drivers on the road currently and these defensive driving courses would help make responsible drivers aware of the dangers and prevent them from accidents involving the drunk driving. No matter what the legal drinking age is there will always be drunk drivers on the road. Teenagers are over-represented in driving accidents involving alcohol. But for the ones that do, we must enforce harsher penalty’s to drivers that are under the influence. Another thing that would be helpful is for the government to sponsor a program that would support some sort of Designated Drivers program on college campus’s and bars. This would eliminate a lot of the possible drinking and driving situations that would arise and it would condone responsible drinking policies to everyone, and not just college students. The drinking and driving problem would have to be changed in some serious ways in order for the drinking age to be decreased to eighteen. That is the single most important thing that is effected by drinking. It costs innocent peoples lives.
Another thing that could be introduced into the society that some will think a little bit radical would be to have a drinking permit. This “permit” would be given to a teenager under the age of twenty one and they would have to pass a written test consisting of safe and responsible ways of drinking to obtain it. After they obtain this permit they can legally drink and purchase alcohol. However the catch to this permit is that it to will be on zero tolerance policy. If someone is involved in anything involving alcohol abuse this permit will be taken away. Anything such as vandalism, fighting, driving, or anything that exhibits a lack of responsibility to consume alcohol moderately. If caught the permit will be taken away and not able to drink legally until twenty one. If caught drinking otherwise, you will be arrested and tried as a legal adult. This will be a serious offense and will be followed just by the society being scared of getting caught. This permit policy would have to go through congress and be passed which would be the hardest thing because of its radical change. However this would keep the society in check as far as keeping the drinking rate the same and making sure it stays as something that will be enjoyed responsibly instead of being abused because of it being something that students do just to spite the law.
Now I know there would be a lot of people opposing this law to be changed back to eighteen and they would do all in their power to stop it. They would argue that it is morally wrong to let eighteen year olds to drink legally. They would also argue that more and more deaths would happen due to this law being changed. When in reality if you follow these steps, teach young children at a young age to drink moderately and responsibly, add more harsher penalties to the drinking and driving laws and make defensive driving courses mandatory to graduate in high school, and to finally make a “permit” for under twenty one drinkers as a test to see exactly how it affects the society. All in all the age of eighteen is thought to be old enough to make such big decisions as getting married and joining the army to defend the country. It would at least show that this country has confidence in the eighteen year olds to be responsible with this new law and to not abuse the power. It would make a uniform “legal age”. This simplicity in itself will make checking I.D.’s less of a problem. This law needs to be changed and everyone knows it. This is a reasonable proposal to try something that has never been tried before and I think that the lawmakers are scared that it would work and it would just make them look foolish for not thinking of it on their own.