Fight for MLDA 18

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Fight for MLDA 18

Gage Lincoln

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In discussions over the minimum legal drinking age, or MLDA, one controversial issue has been whether or not to decrease the age for consumption.  One one hand, some believe  that the MLDA ought to be decreased to 18, the same age as other restrictions into adulthood are stopped.  Opposing this are those who agree that MLDA is the only way to have the laws read.  Considering the issue carefully leads me to believe that the MLDA should be eighteen.

It is often said that young men and women whom have just crossed the eighteen years threshold into adulthood are not fully matured to the point of allowing consumption of alcohol, but instead, three years later at the age of 21, they are.  This is even though those 17, 18, and 19 year olds can abandon their area of origin and start a new life for themselves in the military, possibly in some cases die for Americans throughout the country.  The law reads one thing, but there are bends and loopholes.  One is explained briefly by a former army SP4, “When I was in the army, I was able to drink underage as long as I stayed on the base and did not drive anywhere.”  The laws are really elastic in a sense and should be revisited and adjusted, allowing eighteen year olds to consume alcohol.

 Drinking underage outside specified guidelines can really affect your future.  The penalties for some states are the suspension or revocation of your driving privileges (“Laws”), just for being under 21 years and possessing alcohol.  In New York state, underage people are able to drink alcohol in a religious ceremony and also in the instance their parents or legal guardian is in your presence and your drinking is limited to moderation and not to get drunk (“Laws”).  So, with more loopholes here, what kind of elastic laws are being dealt with here?

If you have ever been in a college dorm or frat house on a weekend night you could see the effects of underage binge drinking.  Also, a majority of the alcohol sold in America is consumed in those four walls (Gordon).  Most are circumstances when the organization is attempting to eliminate the alcohol as fast as possible as to not get caught, leading those young men and women to binge drinking and making poor choices (Smith).  The repercussions to binge drinking are poor choices such as drinking and driving, which is limited at an actual bar where the tender would shut you off.  Another issue is that of sexual abuse and one night stands, leading to a potential pregnancy.  If the legal age was decreased, these such incidents would greatly decrease as it wouldn’t be illegal and or give the same thrill they were getting before (Gordon).  In this instance, the MLDA should be dropped altogether, or minimally decreased to eighteen.

Those who oppose the MLDA to be reduced have their own set of ideas.  They believe that the right to consume alcohol ought to be reserved for those “mature” adults.  In response to those remarks, should we not then only have “mature” people fight for our country and elect our politicians.  Some say that young people will only drive intoxicated if they have the ability; however, to refute that point of view, one needs to understand that if it is legal for them to do, they won’t be sneaking around or hiding it.  There is an anonymous tip line that people can report underage drinking too.  This leads to the question of if this is available, why aren’t there more arrests and problems arising from underage drinking?  It must be that it’s not useful enough to the public to be used, which makes it sound like a waste of good money.  So, the MLDA being set at 18 still sound like the best decision to be made.

As of 2017, the MLDA is set at 21 throughout the United States.  The reason this happened was the federal government threatened to revoke money towards state’s infrastructure fund.  Sounds rather assertive, doesn’t it.  However, multiple states are considering the decrease of the minimum age to at least 18 at this point.  At age eighteen, it is more of a level playing field than the age of twenty-one.  So, as a voter in your state, your voice matters: be sure to write your local officials and inform them that you would like the age to be decreased to eighteen.

Works Cited

Cobb, Donald. “Military Underage Drinking.” Personal interview. 1 May 2017.

“Drinking Age.” National Youth Rights Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 May 2017.

Foster, Jane. “Underage Drinking.” Personal interview. 01 May 2017.

Gordon, John Steele. “It’s Time to Do Away with the Minimum Drinking Age Act.” Opposing

Viewpoints Online Collection. Detroit: Gale, 2017. Rpt. from “Repeal the Uniform Drinking Age Act.” Commentary 19 Jan. 2016. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 8 May 2017.

Laws and Penalties for Underage Drinking. Web. 03 May 2017.

Smith, Michael Clay. “The Drinking Age Should Be Lowered to 18.” Teens and Alcohol. Ed. James D. Torr. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2002. Current Controversies. Rpt. from “Treat Students as Adults: Set the Drinking Age at 18, Not 21.” Chronicle of Higher Education 12 Mar. 1999. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 8 May 2017.