This is in response to the Thursday editorial “Drinking age is an ineffective control.”?Underage drinking costs America $58.04 billion a year. This is $216.22 for every man, woman and child in the United States. This dollar figure is made up, of course, of alcohol-related crashes involving minors but also includes: violent crimes, burns, drownings, suicide attempts, fetal alcohol syndrome, alcohol poisoning and treament, all because of underage drinking.
People always make the argument that you are able to go to war at 18; why not drink? In the article there is a list of all of the things that you can do at different ages. Do people think someone just thought it would be fun to “torture” people by not letting them drink until they are 21? Medical reasons and statistics are used to come up with the age limit of 21. Fifteen to 24 is the peak time of brain development, along with other vital organs in our bodies. Drinking has proved to have negative, if not destroying, effects on these parts of our bodies. That is why it is 21.?
Another common misconception is that European countries have a lower drinking age and they have less alcohol-related crashes among the youth population. Has anyone compared the amount of those people who drive? Not many. That is why they have less alcohol-related crashes, not because they learned how to drink responsibly. Speaking of responsibility,?much more of them have alcohol dependency problems. How is that responsible drinking? The opinion states that by allowing youths to drink earlier it will “allow them to learn their limits.” What is stopping people from learning these when it is illegal to drink since they are drinking anyway? Breaking the law is showing a huge lack of maturity and responsible drinking.
I hear all the time that if the drinking age were lowered, it would no longer be the “forbidden fruit,” so there would be less drinking among the youth population. Do people really believe that? You are saying that if you are younger than 21 you are not going to go to a bar because you can? I highly doubt it. Plus the statistics show that that is not the case. Sorry psych majors, your reverse psychology is not going to work with this one.
Danielle Mabry is a University student and University Mothers Against Drunk Driving president. Please send comments to [email protected]