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The Criminalization of Our American Youths: Is Twenty-One an Unfair Drinking Age?

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Umass Lowell

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  1. Introduction
  2. Alcohol consumption by minors
  3. The issue of drinking age
  4. Conclusion
  5. Works cited

Alcohol, a cheap easy way for many young American adults to enjoy a society which has cast selective freedoms which they fight and die for right out the window. An issue which has plagued young adults since its surfacing in 1984 under President Regan, should the legal drinking age for all Americans be an issue for which states are left to regulate, or should the federal government force the restrictions on drinking age to twenty one? Certainly there is much information on this topic; after all it has been debated now for over twenty years. Should the legal drinking age be twenty one, so that we can protect our youth and prevent so many deaths which would occur due to drunk driving, or should the legal age be eighteen, since you can be tried as an adult, purchase tobacco produces, obtain and use a firearm with a license, and most importantly of all be allowed to decide who might be the leader of our nation. While both sides have validity in their arguments, it is however prevalent that I see it a preposterous statement that an ?adult' of our country should not be allowed to enjoy the spoils of an alcoholic beverage at their choice or disposal.

[...] I cannot imagine that there are many underground parties, or secret drinking forays for people who have so little regulation as in France, the excitement of getting caught and going against Man' would seem ludicrous. Why then should we not take a similar stance on this issue? If the legal drinking age were to be lowered to eighteen, think of the decline in on-campus crime here at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell (most of which comes from alcohol and drug related arrests, no statistic can be provided but information was provided off the record by a University of Massachusetts police officer who asked not to have his name printed), which would make campus a safer place and more appealing to other students. [...]

[...] Truly for the issue of drinking age, as are many issues that the United States government must deal with, there is an overwhelming amount of lobbyist power and support which makes dealing with the changing of laws very messy. Most young Americans would never even consider that the drinking age to be anything different from twenty one if it were not for the stories of our parents. During the debate of drinking age in the 1980's, the Mothers Against Drunk Driving organization flooded numerous congressional mail boxes with letters stating their reasoning's for their position. [...]

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