It's no secret that people drink alcohol before their twenty- first birthday. Binge drinking on college campuses and at high school parties. Strong arguments have been presented on either side of the issue on drinking age. From those that support lowering the drinking age to 18, there is the Amethyst initiative. I concur with the initiative's mission statement, summarized: "calls upon elected officials to support an informed and dispassionate public debate over the effects of the 21 year-old drinking age1" This paper will examine the pros and cons of potentially lowering the drinking age to 18.
The amethyst initiative is made up of over 130 college presidents and chancellors who have signed the initiative in 2008 in support of lowering the drinking age. In 2011 Alaskan, a bill was recently introduced that would allow members of the military to drink at the age of 18 with the rationale that if they're old enough to fight and die for their country, they're old enough to have a beer. Those opposed argue that since the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 raised the drinking age to 21, kids have starting drinking at a later age, and accidents involving drinking and driving have decreased. .
The first pro considered is that the laws in place to prevent underage drinking have not worked; meaning it is time to try something else. Today, young adults ages 18 to 20 experience what can be compared to the prohibition of the 1920s. Fewer drink, but when they do drink the concern is the 14.2% of 12-20 year olds that are binge drinkers2. When drinking legally is prohibited, it leads to alcohol being consumed in large amounts, in uncontrolled environments. Places such as fraternity houses, or college students' housing, drinking games and excessive consumption of alcohol in short periods of time puts people in danger of alcohol poisoning. .
Another problem with the 21-year-old minimum drinking age is the education given to young adults about alcohol.