The risks of lowering the minimum drinking age

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The new legal age for drinking is supposed to mitigate the dangers associated with alcoholism in young adults. According to Carpenter, Christopher, and Carlos Dobkin (2011 pg. 1), the damage caused by consuming alcohol among young adults in the US exceeds 50 billion per year. For certain citizens, lowering the legal drinking age would raise the market for alcohol and thus encourage the growth of economic activities. However, there are adverse consequences on both the consumer and culture in reducing the legal drinking age. By keeping the minimum drinking age at 21, society will reduce incidences of criminal activities and reduce health complications that may arise from excessive consumption of alcohol among the youth.
Lowering the minimum drinking age will allow access to alcohol and increase the criminal activities. Findings by Carpenter, Christopher, and Carlos Dobkin (2011 pg. 1) revealed that access to alcohol plays an important role in breaking the law. Their research suggested that proposals to reduce minimum drinking age will most likely lead to increased rates of crimes. The study further found that access to alcohol has the effect of increasing arrest for criminal offence at the age of 21 by 5.9 percent. The arrests are based on crimes such as assault, robbery, drunkenness and drinking under the influence of alcohol. The findings bring to light the evidence that by limiting the minimum legal drinking age will significantly help reduce crimes.

The current law on drinking age has helped reduced long-term effects of alcoholism among the youths. DeJong, William, and Jason Blanchette (2011 pg 1) argue that the current age limit of 21 has played a significant role in minimising health issue related to alcohol and reduced consumption. The law has additionally protected the youth from harmful health effects of alcohol that they may later experience in adulthood, such as suicide, addiction to alcohol and homicide. Given that majority of the youth under the age of 21 are in college, lowering the drinking age will result in alcohol consumers who are not well informed of the long-term health impacts of alcohol drinking. It is therefore beneficial to the society and the individuals to drink alcohol when at 21 and over so that users have informed decisions about the effects of taking alcohol.

While proponents of a minimum drinking age see the benefits of an interpersonal and physiological reason for drinking, there rare negative themes such as experiencing hangovers and getting sick when drinking age being lowered. Drinking too much alcohol at a young age can result in headaches, increase the chance of getting an infection and lead to discomforting hangovers. Hangover is associated with experiences like dehydration, irritation of the stomach and low bold sugar that may interfere with daily activities of the victim. Hangovers can further be painful and may last for few hours or days.

Excessive consumption of alcohol is linked to high incidences of drunkenness, robbery and theft. Lowering the minimum drinking age will ensure that these crimes are frequently committed by the youth. Also, too much alcohol creates health issues that may be experienced later during adulthood. It is essential to keep the law on minimum drinking age to mitigate risks of health and reduce incidences of suicide and homicide among the youth. The law also keeps the youth from effects such as headaches and risk of infection and hangovers.

Works cited

Carpenter, Christopher, and Carlos Dobkin. “Minimum legal drinking age and public health.” The Journal of Economic Perspectives 25.2 (2011

DeJong, William, and Jason Blanchette. “Case closed: research evidence on the positive public health impact of the age 21 minimum legal drinking age.” Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, Supplement (2014).

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