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Lowering the Drinking Age
Transcript of Lowering the Drinking Age
The Minimum Legal Drinking Age, MLDA, is currently 21.
That has really frustrated a large amount of people, and they are calling for change. Others think it should stay the same.
Morris called voting yes for the change the "single most regrettable decision" of his entire professional career. He talked about how changing the drinking age just made teens drink in private parties and dangerous areas - and that has caused a lot of violence and crimes that don't often occur at bars or restaurants. He thinks it has endangered the 18-20 crowd more than helped their safety.
The MLDA 21 has had some adverse side affects - just like all those medicine advertisements you hear. They mean well, but can do some nasty things. According to an article from Columbia University, underage drinking still accounts for $22,500,000,000 in liquor sales. That's a lot!!
Benefits of Moderate Drinking
The key to all of the benefits is learning to drink in moderation, unlike the binge drinking teens of today. Brooks talks about the health benefits, from decreased risks for heart disease, diabetes, strokes, and gallstones to the higher average salaries of moderate drinkers in comparison to heavy drinkers or those who avoid alcohol.
Opposing Point of View
Some are also against lowering MLDA 21. One of the biggest scare tactics they have is that when it was increased to 21, drunk driving deaths decreased. Alcohol Alert has statistics that show the decrease, but also show the same decrease for years before the change. Increased technology decreased motor injuries, with new things like mandated seatbelts and better airbags.
The positives of changing, however, far outweigh the negatives. There are tons of reasons to change!
Take Morris Chafetz for example. He used to be the chair of the Education and Prevention Committee - the one which recommended changing the MLDA to 21.
While we're on the subject of safety, there are many more safety concerns with MLDA 21!
All that means is teens are drinking illegally in unregulated environments. They can drink as much as they want, as quickly as they want, and there isn't a bartender there to take keys.
Did you know alcohol actually has some benefits?
This guy knows a lot about them. He's Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, and wrote, "Drinking to Success" for Forbes Magazine, in which he talks about some of the many benefits of drinking.
For all of those health and fiscal benefits, however, moderate drinking is key. If we force teens to drink 'underground' and binge drink, rather than casually drink in restaurants or bars, they will develop bad habits of drinking heavily.
In conclusion, the drinking age NEEDS to be lowered in order for the 18-20 age group to have safer, more controlled drinking experiences. Our current methods aren't working, and give the excitement of breaking the law to the drinking teens. The positives far outweigh the negatives, and the changes need to be made.
By: Hayden Kinney