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Should the drinking age be 18? Show more Show less
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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?

Yes, the drinking age should be 18. Show more Show less

Many legal, social, and cultural rights and responsibilities come into effect when a person turns 18, and it is in everyone's best interest that personal choices about drinking be a part of that transition into adulthood.
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A minimum age of 18 normalizes responsible drinking

Eliminating the thrill of breaking the law through underage drinking makes moderate, responsible consumption of alcohol the norm.

The Argument

Adults in most countries drink some amount of alcohol on a fairly routine basis. Drinking in moderation and making responsible choices while doing so (such as not drinking to excess or driving while drunk) does not present serious risks to other members of society, and it is important to normalize this kind of responsible approach to drinking. If 18-year-olds are not able to drink legally, they are therefore not able to make a responsible choice to drink. This makes drinking a thrill-seeking choice for young adults, which encourages illegal activity and irresponsible behavior. Allowing 18-year-olds to drink legally eliminates the incentive to break the law and establishes the more common, moderate pattern of drinking as the normal and appropriate way to drink.

Counter arguments



[P1] Having a higher drinking age makes drinking alcohol more salacious and therefore attractive as an illegal activity.

Rejecting the premises


    This page was last edited on Friday, 7 Feb 2020 at 17:56 UTC


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