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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?

No, the drinking age should be 21. Show more Show less

Young adults are more vulnerable to the detrimental effects of alcohol and less equipped to make responsible choices about drinking. A higher drinking age prohibits people from drinking until they are mature enough to handle it.
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Younger people are too immature to drink

There are too many risks associated with drinking alcohol to trust young adults to drink responsibly. A higher minimum age is consistent with standards for other weighty responsibilities.

The Argument

Drinking responsibly and making responsible decisions even while intoxicated require a greater degree of maturity than most young adults possess. Statistics show that young adults have higher than average rates of driving accidents, risky sexual activity, substance abuse, and many other harmful behaviors. Several legal rights other than drinking are also restricted to higher ages based on the the potential dangers. In some jurisdictions, these restricted rights include owning firearms, holding certain public offices, adopting children, and other mature responsibilities. Remaining consistent with such restrictions, the dangers posed by immature behavior under the influence of alcohol justify a higher drinking age.

Counter arguments

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Younger people possess less maturity and cannot be trusted to be able to legally drink responsibly. [P2] The age at which it is legal to drink should reflect this.

Rejecting the premises

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This page was last edited on Wednesday, 7 Oct 2020 at 07:25 UTC

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