18 and Up!

Penny Greibesland, Co- Sports page Editor

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Can you truthfully say that alcohol has never touched your lips? If no, then you’re among the 72% that has tried alcohol before graduating high school. Therefore lowering the drinking age in America isn’t such a bad thing if you think about it.
Turning 18 makes you an adult. You are now able to buy cigarettes, you can be prosecuted as an adult, get married, so why does “becoming an adult” not mean being fully treated like one? How come you are able to go, fight for our country, risking your own life for others, but can’t crack open a beer when you’re home safe and sound? Turning 18 and becoming an adult should actually mean “becoming an adult.”
Now for the risk factors. According to nyln.org, the “Youth Leader Blog,” while the United States increased the minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) to 21, other countries maintained it at 18. When it was time to compare the drunk driving traffic accidents and fatalities, countries with a lower drinking age also has lower traffic accidents than the U.S. There was a period, however, when such fatalities decreased. But because it happened before an MLDA was established by the Uniform Drinking Age Act, the decrease cannot be attributed to the drinking age of 21. The amount of drunk driving accidents are found more commonly among newly-legal drinkers. Junior, Lucas Wightman, said “My family is from Colombia, the drinking age there is 18. I’m really excited for my 18th birthday because I’ll be in colombia and i’ll get to have my first beer.” Another junior, Haley Nelson, said “I go to Ireland every summer, at dinner time my parents sometimes give me a glass of wine because it’s very common over there.”
In many other countries, the drinking age is 18, in Italy and England the drinking age for beer and wine is 16, so what makes America so different? The age limit of 21 in the US is a relatively new law over the past few decades, it used to be 18 along with most of the rest of the world. In 1984, Congress passed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, which required states to raise their ages for purchase and public possession to 21 by October 1986 because turning 21 at the time was the age of majority, or turning into an adult which is now age 18. The drinking age in America should be lowered to bring upon the feeling of adulthood, to keep college students safer when being introduced to hard alcohol and frat parties for the first, and to show the world that we aren’t scared to be like them!

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18 and Up!