At 16 you are allowed to drive a car, at 18 you can vote, or sexually interact with someone 18 and older, at 18 you can buy tobacco, at 18 you can get married, at 18 you can vote for who can lead your entire country.
So after all this, why do we keep alcohol as the one to be at 21? Lowering the drinking age brings up the idea of how adulthood is defined in this country. The age of majority, as defined by law, is the age by which one is legally recognized as an adult and is fully responsible for his/ her actions. An article advocating this by New York Times states ” American 18-year-olds have the right to vote, marry, buy guns and join the military. They’re astute enough to defend their country, decide elected officials and serve on a jury — but not regulate their own appetites? They deserve the chance to learn. We don’t hand teenagers car keys without first educating them about how to drive. Why expect 21-year-olds to learn how to drink responsibly without learning from moderate models, at home and in alcohol education programs?” (Glaser). This quote states how we don’t just allow kids to have their car keys, and we don’t have the right to drink, yet we are allowed to go to a store and buy tobacco and get married to a sugar daddy without needing a parent’s consent. If eighteen year olds are trusted with the aforementioned responsibilities, they should have the right to legally consume alcoholic beverages if they so choose.
Lowering the drinking age to eighteen does not necessarily mean that all eighteen year olds are going to drink. However, it will give them the deserved right to be able to decide if they want to drink when they have the right to make other adult decisions and carry other adult responsibilities. In addition, as mentioned previously, the consumption of alcohol should be a pleasurable activity. Eighteen year olds are given the opportunity to engage in other pleasurable activities, such as purchasing lottery tickets or gambling when done in moderation, so they should at least be granted to opportunity to partake in the pleasurable activity of drinking. The decrease of the drinking age could not only save 2,000 teenagers a year, but also make it less secretive, and allow teenagers to enjoy the freedom and fun in alcohol they can have without the risk of costing their life, and others. Parents including yours, will always have worries about how much their child is consuming, but I think it would be better for them to know that you’re drinking and have police tell your parents that they found their daughter blacked out on the sidewalk, rather than thinking you are having a sleepover with a friend and having a cop tell them their very own child died due to drunk driving or alcohol consumption. Could you imagine the look on your parent’s faces? The horror, the disappointment, the sadness. The hiding of alcohol obtention can’t be living in the shadows anymore, that’s why we should all work together on getting the drinking age to be lowered.