An eighteen year old is right on border between adolescence and adulthood. Young adults gain their independence and are released into the world with newfound freedoms. For example, a young person can legally marry, adopt a child, and risk his or her life in the U.S. military (Harrop). Many rights of passage are granted to individuals at the legal age of "adulthood " (Archer). Young adults are expected to behave responsibly and explore their liberties with maturity. For this reason, the minimum drinking age in the United States should be lowered to age eighteen. The incredible responsibility and and sense of maturity that accompanies the rights granted to an eighteen year old are belittled by the fact that society fails to trust a young adult with a simple alcoholic beverage. She can legally have a child and be liable for another human's life. He can risk his life to serve his country and protect his fellow citizens, but when he returns home at age twenty, he is still forbidden the privilege of an alcoholic drink. Another legal issue is the fact that an eighteen year old is tried as an adult. The fact that essentially all legalities are now applied to the individual as an adult, clearly indicates that an eighteen year old is expected to be capable of adult decisions and reasoning. If one is expected to behave as an adult, the treatment of these individuals ought to be consistent with these expectations.
Whether in high school or college, students are pressured by their peers to drink at parties or other social events. Encounters with alcohol are inevitable during the teenage years. Frat and sorority parties are notorious for drunken affairs. Unfortunately, many of these university students are underage to consume alcohol. Many underage drinkers view the opportunities where alcohol is present as their "only chance " to experience drinking. Hence, the phenomenon called "binge drinking." This phenomenon is largely associated with teenage or underage drinkers: "In fact, underage students are more likely to binge drink than their peers who are of age"" (Doraiswamy).