Though it may not be relevant to middle school students, high school kids are slowly developing a national plea to lower the drinking age down to 18, rather than the age of 21 which it is right now.
Though this argument of lowering the drinking age by 3 years hasn’t been heard very loudly as of now, expect to feel some commotion as time passes on through 2008, with much of this movement coming from the west coast and advancing to us quite rapidly.
With several major news groups already covering this story, the news is growing quickly about much of the younger population pushing for the drinking age to be lowered, telling of how the ridiculous law causes more accidents than it prevents, essentially being counter-productive. Mothers Against Drunk Driving, otherwise known as M.A.D.D. continue to push for the drinking age to be left at 21, stating that the lowering of the age would cause many more vehicular accidents and a drastic increase in alcoholic deaths, a number that is already insanely high.
However, in response to these anti-youth drinking groups, many of today’s college students have formed organizations within their schools called “social norm groups”, run entirely by students with the intention to emphasize the importance of the dangers of binge drinking. High school students have joined forces with college students, mainly on mainstream sites such as http://www.youtube.com, to explain the reasoning of this plea and show that the youth of today is growing highly in maturity level.
Miami University has been ranked as the number one party school in the country, consuming more alcohol than any other college in the nation. Many students, as well as teachers, have voiced their opinions on the age matter publicly. Stacey Skotzko, a head writer for the Miami Student interviewed Detective Sgt. John Buchholz of the Oxford Police Department about the underage drinking topic. Buchholz stated, “When you do find something to drink (as an under 21 aged student) you are going to make sure you drink as much as you can,” Buchholz said, explaining this is in comparison to 21 and over students who can drink at leisure and not worry about getting caught”. The detective goes on to talk about the importance of the social acceptability of going out to have a beer as opposed to constant wild alcohol abuse.
These specific arguments that continue to be used by teenage groups consist of the idea that by keeping the drinking age that we have now, kids are tempted into drinking in uncontrollable amounts, rather than drinking in moderation and knowing that they are not limited to this one attempt at an alcoholic beverage. They are drinking illegally, and are forced to think that they must get as much out of the situation as possible. This begins the cycle, leading the underage drinker to get into a vehicle and drive, intoxicated and on the road dangerously. The argument is that if the drinking age is lowered to 18, these kids that are drinking illegally won’t have to worry about binge drinking because they won’t have to stress getting as much alcohol as they can in that one moment. It is assumed that these minors will drink in moderation, limiting drunken driving accidents, slowing down the alcoholic death rate over time.
Fox News, CNN and M10ish drinking age is 18, the French (and German) drinking ages are 16 and on top of all of these Poland doesn’t have a drinking age. The United States is the only nation in the world with a drinking age as high as 21, and even with this law, our nation stands alone at the top of the list of Drunk Driving deaths per year. The number has increased dramatically in 22 states and continues to rise, leaving the youth asking, why isn’t the age going down? It’s clear to many that it’s time for a change – this law isn’t working and it’s only being, as many have said, counter-productive.
There are many websites to refer to for more information on this growing debate – http://www.cnn.com, http://www.msnbc.com, http://www.youtube.com, http://www.chooseresponsibility.org . Talk about it with your families, think about the idea of a drinking age of 18 – would you want it to be a legitimate law when you turn 18? Put it in this perspective – at the end of the day, wouldn’t you want to celebrate your first vote with your first drink?
-The entire article written by Stacey Skotzko can be located at http://www.miamistudent.net/thedrinkinggame.