argument top image

Should the drinking age be 18? Show more Show less
Back to question

The risks associated with drinking have led most countries to set a minimum legal age for the purchase or consumption of alcohol, but the specific drinking age varies from place to place. The most common drinking age around the world is 18, but the United States has a minimum legal drinking age of 21, and ages from 15 to 25 are used in other nations. Is 18 the ideal standard, or should the drinking age be 21? Should there be a minimum legal drinking age at all?

There should be no drinking age. Show more Show less

Drinking age laws are ineffective at preventing underage drinking, and society would be fine without the institution of a minimum legal drinking age.
< (4 of 4)

Historically, there were no drinking age laws

The drinking age is a fairly recent invention in legal history, and there is no real need for it.

The Argument

Minimum legal drinking age laws are largely an invention of the early 20th century, and still do not exist in many nations in Africa and Asia. The United Kingdom did not have a national minimum drinking age law until 1923, when the Intoxicating Liquor (Sale to Persons under Eighteen) Act was passed due to the advocacy of members of the temperance movement, which had declined by the mid-20th century. Given that drinking age laws have little effect on underage drinking, and that many nations (past and present) have gotten by without them, these relics of the legal past should be abolished.

Counter arguments



[P1] Drinking ages are a reasonably recent invention; society got along without them for a long time. [P2] Drinking ages are pointless, and we do not need them.

Rejecting the premises



    Not sure yet? Read more ↑


    This page was last edited on Friday, 7 Feb 2020 at 18:12 UTC

    Explore related arguments