The United States is one of four nations where the legal drinking age is greater than eighteen years of age. (Denying eighteen year olds the right to consume alcohol is inconsistent with the many rights and privileges, responsibilities, and accountabilities that are awarded to a person on his or her eighteenth birthday). .
As an eighteen year old adult, a person has many rights and privileges. For example, at the age of eighteen, one can freely choose to move out of his or her parent/guardian's home. At the age of eighteen a person is eligible for marriage. It almost seems ridiculous that an eighteen year old bride or groom would not be able to partake in alcoholic beverages at his or her own wedding. When it came time for a toast, ginger ale would be the beverage of choice. However, the law holds the bride and groom responsible for all debts incurred at the ceremony and any damages caused by guests. .
In addition, the law allows eighteen year olds to purchase lottery tickets. Limiting the purchase of lottery tickets requires a certain amount of self-control and discipline. Witness the individual who does not possess these characteristics. He or she, "the gambler", goes into debt or bankruptcy buying an inordinate amount of lottery tickets. Also, at the age of eighteen years old, one has the right to purchase cigarettes. Many would agree that cigarettes do more damage to a person's health than alcohol. People often become addicted to cigarettes and are unable to quit. Thus, they may have to quit by taking pills, going to rehab programs or, listening to tapes. Cigarettes contain nicotine, which is highly addicting and causes emphysema, lung cancer, and bronchial disorders. So, why is smoking a right granted at the age of eighteen, when drinking and smoking both cause problems in a person's life, and cause a person to maintain control of his or her habits? If an eighteen year old has the choice whether or not to smoke, one should have the option to consume alcohol.