Should We Lower the Drinking Age in the US?

Lowering the drinking age is an idea that has been proposed since the day it was put in its current place in 1984 (Huffington Post). To younger people, it seems like an awesome idea that allows them to freely do what they likely already do, but without need for sneaking around or the possibility of arrest. To older people, it seems like a terrible idea that would put drunken teenagers all over the roads and make the country a less safe and less moral place.

In America, alcohol has become something of a taboo subject, as is often the case when something is outlawed. It makes people want to do it. Most European countries have a drinking age of 18 or less, yet their young adults are often noted for their moderation as compared to Americans. According to the Huffington Post, Europeans are around alcohol their entire lives, with many having a drink at dinner from a young age. This destigmatization is a main component of the reason you see less alcohol related deaths in Europe than in America (WHO). Drinking is not a big deal and thus is more controlled. Alternatively, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) claims that the raised drinking age has been responsible for 900 less fatal car accidents involving alcohol per year (MADD).


Personally, I agree that the main reason for underage binge drinking in this country is the stigma associated with alcohol. If we were to adopt a more European approach to alcohol, with a focus on drinking in moderation, perhaps the death tolls would be lower and there would be more responsible young people.



2 thoughts on “Should We Lower the Drinking Age in the US?

  1. Matthew Hogan

    I found this very interesting, and I definitely agree with you. If the drinking age was lower, I think it would help make teens more responsible with alcohol, and would actually be safer than how it is now. I have cousins that live in Ireland where the drinking age is 18, and when I visited them it didn’t seem like them or any of there friends were drinking a lot. All of them would just have a drink or two and it would be no problem. Lowering the drinking age could be very beneficial and would maybe help to decrease drunk driving and other alcohol related problems.

  2. Elsa Breakey

    I think the drinking age should be lowered and that a European approach would be helpful in implementing this. In Europe, children are exposed to alcohol at a young age. I once read an article that said by giving children wine with dinner while they’re in their teens, it teaches them to appreciate alcohol rather than abuse it. By the time they turn the legal age, they won’t drink to get drunk as much as Americans do. I think this approach could work, but would need to be straightened out so drunk driving is decreased as well.

Leave a Reply