This I Believe

Joe - Leesburg, Virginia
Entered on May 30, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: question
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I think that the drinking age should be lowered to eighteen. In most countries, the drinking age is eighteen or lower. We should be like everyone else and have the drinking age lowered. Our youth today is exposed to underage drinking and is affecting our society. Our teens are going out to party where alcohol is present and are getting busted and arrested for underage drinking. If caught, they would be tried and sentenced for their crime and suffer that consequence for the rest of their life. Many teens today drink because they are either defiant towards the law or their parents, want to have a good time, or fit in with the rest of the crowd. If the drinking age was lowered, many of our youth will not get in trouble with the law considering that a majority of the underage drinking youth is from age 18-20.

I took a trip to Spain over the summer of 2006, and I discovered that the drinking age there was sixteen. I later found out that the smoking age in Spain was eighteen. That caught my attention because you could be sixteen to get drink and eighteen to smoke. I asked a woman in Spain why these ages were so much different here than in America. She said that cigarettes can give you lung cancer and that you would have to be mature enough to make the decision to smoke. The woman also said that the youth in Spain did not abuse the privilege of this young drinking age. It seems to me that the drinking age was set at age twenty-one in America because our youth are too immature to handle the responsibility and privilege of consuming alcohol. They abuse this right by getting too drunk to walk, drinking as minors, or other ways of so called fun.

Many teens would be spared from the punishment of the law if the drinking age was set to eighteen. If a high school party got busted because of suspicion of underage drinking, many of the teens would be let off the hook because they are the age of eighteen. I personally would like the drinking age lowered to eighteen because I would like to be able to drink at a younger age. I also would like to have the age lowered because you should be able to drink and smoke by the age of eighteen instead of smoking then drinking three years later. I think that is ridiculous that you can smoke before you can drink. In the long run, smoking will give you lung cancer and smoking causes more deaths than alcohol poisoning. So why make it legal to smoke before you can drink?