Throughout all of my interviews on the drinking age, the most referenced opinions said that the drinking age is too high at age 21. I too share this opinion. Due to a surge in hormones, teenagers start to feel more of their “inner-beast.” If you cage a beast, poke it, prod it and even injure it only to release it, it’s going to go crazy. Likewise, if a teenager is strictly forbidden by their parents or the government from something like alcohol, then the first chance they get they will go to extremes. Such extremes include binge drinking, drunk driving and trying to break the 21 limit law. Also, it takes a lot of personnel to enforce the drinking law. Most under-age drinkers either do it at home, or they try to cheat the system (i.e. they buy a beer since they look older than 21 while they are 18). Either way, it makes it extremely difficult for the police to bust somebody. Such personnel could be used to help with worse crimes, from petty thievery to murder.
That’s not to say, however, that teens should be able to just drink what they want when they want. If a beast is allowed to roam free, then they will eventually hurt another person based on impulse. A teenage addiction to alcohol is very similar to this scenario. Since alcohol is an addictive substance, it is easily abused. It provides a volatile form of escapism for many. However, this addiction has ruined many intelligent people and left them as bums or winos on the street.
Thus a teenager doesn’t need to be controlled or be allowed to run around willy-nilly. They should be educated. Somebody needs to teach teenagers why it is important to care about alcohol responsibility. A parent, or any authority figure, can’t take a risk on something this serious by telling their kid “Don’t drink” and hoping for the best.
So it is not the government’s job to regulate how much we drink. Rather, it’s up to our parents to teach us about the pros and cons of drinking. However, teens must be allowed to make decisions for themselves. If they can’t, then they either lose their free will or they go crazy and lash out in ways that are harmful not only to their health, but to the health of others.
By Nic Smith