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 moreShow less
Drinking age laws are ineffective at preventing underage drinking, and society would be fine without the institution of a minimum legal drinking age.
Police generally have little interest in underage drinking because it is a low-impact crime that would be too demanding on time and resources to pursue aggressively. The prevalence of underage drinking has no significant statistical association with rates of suicide or criminal activity by young adults, and the legal penalties for underage drinking are usually minimal. Consequently, police officers lack both the motive and the means to make combating underage drinking a priority. In the United States, only an estimated 0.2% of incidents of underage drinking result in an arrest.
[P1] Prosecuting underage drinkers is not high priority for law enforcement.
[P2] There is no need for a drinking age.