Why should the drinking age be 21?
There are differences in laws and age that are applied in various countries regarding the ‘legal drinking age,. Legal drinking age was established to promote responsible drinking, safety, and to prevent minors from accessing and/or abuse the use of alcohol. Most of the countries accepted the age of 18 as already legal. But in some studies, age 21 should be the ideal drinking age. The basis of the later is due to the alarming increase in number of alcohol related incidents that involves teenagers within the age of 16 to 20.
In the United States, changing the Minimum Legal Drinking Age (MLDA) is still creating a debate. Majority of the states in the U.S. adopt the National Drinking Age Act of 1984 which clearly indicates that any purchase or use of alcohol is illegal under the age of 21. The implementation of the law however has variations depending on the state.
Supporters of the Act view that the minimum legal drinking age should be set to 21 which is only rational because the lower age groups have not reached the age where they can drink alcohol responsibly and most likely to abuse it. Teenagers, who go through diverse biological and emotional changes, peer pressure, adjustment to new experiences and urges, are also the same age group that mostly drinks alcoholic beverages. Unfortunately, a huge number of teenagers do not know how to properly handle the effect of alcohol resulting to harming themselves and the people around them.
Increasing the legal drinking age to 21 have many advantages if seriously implemented. With the prohibition in purchasing and drinking alcoholic beverages among the minors, it can be expected to have a reduce in the number of alcohol related incidents that involve teenagers like vehicle accidents, sexual and physical attacks, suicides, killings, drowning, alcohol poisonings, problems in health, school, work and home, as well as addiction to alcohol at an early age.
There is still a need for extensive studies in order to lessen, if not totally stop, teenage drinking or binge drinking around the world. But any law no matter how good the intention is, if not supported and implemented properly, will not be useful in attaining changes in the society.