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.
The minimum legal drinking age is irrelevant in practice. Statistics from the United States, which has a relatively high national drinking age of 21, indicate that the U.S. national drinking age law has done little to stop underage drinking, even among teens younger than 18. Approximately one half of American teens aged 16 or 17 drink alcohol, and almost a quarter aged 14 or 15 do so as well.
Access to alcohol through illegal means such as false identification, theft, and the assistance of complicit adults is simply too easy for the drinking age to function as a preventative law.
[P1] Underage drinking continues, regardless of the drinking age.
[P2] Functionally useless, drinking ages should be abolished.