There are many critics who are quick to point to studies that suggest lowering the drinking age leads to a higher rate of alcohol-related car crashes among young people. But, realistically, most young adults have had more than one drink long before the age of 21. Lowering the drinking age will not effect the amount of alcohol consumption among 16 to 18 year olds who already drink alcohol on a regular basis. Most high school seniors and college freshman have easy access to fake I.D.’s and have no trouble using them to obtain alcohol.
I have 3 young adults, ages 18, 19 and 20 and I am not so naive as to think they have never touched a drink. Two of my children are in college and I know that socializing and drinking often go hand in hand in a college environment. I’ve been open and realistic with each of them and have talked openly about my expectations of them. I don’t stick my head in the sand and pretend my children are not exposed to drinking or even engage in drinking. Parental responsibilty is key when it comes to educating your children about the dangers of drinking and driving. Additional education in schools is necessary as well. Informing students how to be responsible should they decide to drink is an excellent way to show there are consequences to driving while drunk.
If 18 year olds are allowed to vote, thus considering them mature enough to make a major decision which affects the nation, then they should be allowed to make the decision to drink responsibly. If 18 year old boys are required to register for the draft and have the possibility of being shipped off to war, then they should be allowed to consume alcohol. Yes, it’s tragically heartbreaking when a young adult dies in an alcohol-related car accident. It’s also tragic when hundreds of our young people are sent off to war only to die on foreign land.