Sunday, October 2, 2011

Blog #10 Taylor Wisnieski

My question for the exploratory essay was: What are the effects of lowering the drinking age to 18 years old?

October 2

Journal Article

Source #1
Wechsler, Henry, and Toben F. Nelson. "Will Increasing Alcohol Availability By Lowering the Minimum Legal Drinking Age Decrease Drinking and Related Consequences Among Youths?." American Journal of Public Health 100.6 (2010): 986-992. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 2 Oct. 2011.

This article talks about the risks of lowering the drinking age to eighteen years old and if it will increase the amount of alcohol available to youths. They also discuss whether this will decrease the drinking related consequences among youths or will it increase the consequences.

"Since 1984 the national legal drinking age in the United States has been 21 years"

"The lower minimum legal drinking age was followed by increases in the sale and consumption of alcohol and in alcohol-involved traffic fatalities, particularly among young adults aged 18–20 years"

"Approximately three quarters of college students aged 18–20 years drank alcohol in the past year"

The article then goes on to talk about the statistics behind lowering the drinking age. There are some statistics that show that when the drinking age was lowered there were less alcohol related deaths because teens would drink responsibly. Later into the article they talk about college students and how they binge drink, which proves that teens under the age of 21 still drink heavily in the college environment. I believe that this article tries to show you the good and the bad of lowering the drinking age to 18, which is a good thing because people need to see both sides of it.

Source #2
Streeter, Ruth. "The Debate on Lowering the Drinking Age." CBS News 01.Mar.2010. n. pag. Web. 2 Oct. 2011

News Article

"When the age was raised to 21 in the mid-1980s, the goal was to reduce highway fatalities. But everyone knows that the 21 age limit hasn't stopped minors from drinking. And now some experts believe it's actually contributing to an increase in extreme drinking."

"Asked what the advantage is to lowering the age to 18, Beckner said, "The overall advantage is we're not trying to enforce a law that's unenforceable. The abuse of alcohol and the over-consumption of alcohol and DUI driving. Those are the areas we've gotta focus our efforts. Not on chasing kids around trying to give 'em a ticket for having a cup of beer in their hand."

This article is mostly about people who are in favor of lowering the drinking age. I agree with the first quote though that teens under the age of 21 drink to an extreme because they are not allowed to drink at the bars so they will get drunk before they go out but they will do it quickly which is extreme drinking. Later into the article they discuss a boy in a fraternity who had died from alcohol poisoning because the fraternity was going through their "hazing" stage of recruitment. The parents of the boy who died said they think that if the drinking age was 18 the boys in the fraternity would have called the police instead of leaving the boy to die on the couch. This article makes very good points on what could be different if the drinking age was lowered.

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