Reddit Flipboard Last fall, a group of over college presidents - including the heads of Dartmouth, Virginia Tech and Duke - signed a declaration stating that the year-old drinking age is not working, and fireworks went off. But the college presidents got what they wanted: When the age was raised to 21 in the mids, the goal was to reduce highway fatalities. It may seem counterintuitive, but he argues that lowering the age will make kids safer.
Engs, Professor, Applied Health Sciences, The legal drinking age should be lowered to about 18 or 19 and young adults allowed to drink in controlled environments such as restaurants, taverns, pubs and official school and university functions.
In these situations responsible drinking could be taught through role modeling and educational programs. Mature and sensible drinking behavior would be expected. This opinion is based upon reaserch that I have been involved in for over twenty years concerning college age youth and the history of drinking in the United States and other cultures.
Although the legal purchase age is 21 years of age, a majority of college students under this age consume alcohol but in an irresponsible manner. This is because drinking by these youth is seen as an enticing "forbidden fruit," a "badge of rebellion against authority" and a symbol of "adulthood.
This was during National Prohibition in the s and state prohibition during the s.
These laws were finally repealed because they were unenforceable and because the backlash towards them caused other social problems.
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. The flaunting of the current laws is readily seen among university students. Those under the age of 21 are more likely to be heavy -- sometimes called "binge" -- drinkers consuming over 5 drinks at least once a week.
Research from the early s until the present has shown a continuous decrease in drinking and driving related variables which has parallel the nation's, and also university students, decrease in per capita consumption. However, these declines started in before the national law which mandated states to have 21 year old alcohol purchase laws.
The decrease in drinking and driving problems are the result of many factors and not just the rise in purchase age or the decreased per capita consumption.
While there has been a decrease in per capita consumption and motor vehicle crashes, unfortunately, during this same time period there has been an INCREASE in other problems related to heavy and irresponsible drinking among college age youth.
Significant increase were also found for other variables: All of these behaviors are indices of irresponsible drinking.
This increase in abusive drinking behavior is due to "underground drinking" outside of adult supervision in student rooms and apartments were same age individuals congregate and because of lack of knowledge of responsible drinking behaviors.
Based upon the fact that our current prohibition laws are not working, the need for alternative approaches from the experience of other, and more ancient cultures, who do not have these problems need to be tried.
Groups such as Italians, Greeks, Chinese and Jews, who have few drinking related problems, tend to share some common characteristics.
Alcohol is neither seen as a poison or a magic potent, there is little or no social pressure to drink, irresponsible behavior is never tolerated, young people learn at home from their parents and from other adults how to handle alcohol in a responsible manner, there is societal consensus on what constitutes responsible drinking.
Because the the 21 year old drinking age law is not working, and is counterproductive, it behooves us as a nation to change our current prohibition law and to teach responsible drinking techniques for those who chose to consume alcoholic beverages.
Citation for this opinion articles is now found on http: Note to students doing reports:Following the July 1, passage of the 26th Amendment, which lowered the legal voting age from 21 to 18 years of age, 30 US states lowered the MLDA to .
The legal drinking age in the United States is However, this was not the case until , when the National Minimum Drinking Age Act required the 50 states to raise their drinking age to 21 or lose 10 percent of their federal highway money.
Jul 16, · Dwight B. Heath knows what he is about to say will sound a little crazy to most people. Aug 22, · When the age was raised to 21 in the mids, the goal was to reduce highway fatalities. But everyone knows that the 21 age limit hasn't stopped minors from drinking.
And now some experts believe it's actually contributing to . Time to Lower the Drinking Age A lower age would discourage binge drinking and may help combat sexual assault. By Mary Kate Cary, Contributing Editor for Opinion.
Many states started to lower their minimum drinking age in response, most of this occurring in or    Twelve states kept their purchase ages at 21 since repeal of Prohibition and never changed them.