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Drinking Age

             The drinking age has been adjusted many times between the years of 1963 and 1988. It has been different state to state but became age 21 nationally in 1988. The question at hand is this: Would lowering the drinking age to 18 for beer and wine solve anything, or would it cause more problems?.
             I propose that the drinking age on beer and wine be lowered to age 18, as it was up until the early 70's.(Coate 2) I feel that a lower drinking age on beer and wine would alleviate some of the problems currently facing the 18-21 year old age bracket. Beer and wine are already easily accessible to 18 to 21 year olds. In addition, beer and wine are social drinks for the most part.(O'Malley 4) When we watch sports or have Bar-B-Ques we have a beer or a glass of wine socially. We don't do shots of tequila. Hard alcohol such as whiskey and vodka are much more potent. Hard alcohol is more habit forming and can give a person alcohol poisoning much easier than beer or wine.(Chaloupka 13) Lowering the drinking age on beer and wine would also lower the number of underage drinking tickets, eliminate the underground industry of fake identification, and offer 18-21 year olds the opportunity to "get their feet wet." There are problems that would be faced such as drinking and driving, but that is also a problem with those who are of legal drinking age. .
             When my parents were growing up, they had beer bars for 18 year olds in Wisconsin. My mother is generally very conservative but she insists that her experiences at the beer bars were good. She told me that it was a social atmosphere and not so much about getting drunk. Some bar and club owners have addressed this issue by offering a night when you can be at the club if you are over 18 but still must be 21 to drink. This is a good option but those under 21 may feel a little cheated. It is like being at Disneyland and being just a few inches too short to ride all of the rides.

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