Should the Drinking Age be Lowered?
A discussion to the drinking age to be lowered across the nation has recently been a controversial issue that has placed the society into two different camps, the proponents and opponents of the idea. Currently, the age limit allowed to those drinking is 21 years is advocated for by supporters of the idea to be reduced to 18 years while the opponents still instinct the age to either remain or even be increased to higher age. Both sides have raised concerns that intend to convince the society to take their side for the reasons raised. Drinking has brought with it different effects to the society and both sides have agreed on such effects. The side effects can affect all persons irrespective of the age being reduced or increased at the lobbied ages. It is important for both camps to unite and fight against vices that come with drinking instead of fighting for the proper drinking age within the given society. The proper war should be to educate the society on effects that come with drinking since all ages and persons are either affected or infected.
Proponents and Opponents
Should you be allowed to serve in the military and vote before you can legally drink? This has raised scenarios that are contradicting at the same time supportive to the society and its people. Voting and joining the military requires certain qualifications that every individual must go through to be entrusted with such responsibilities. In the case of military, certain physical and mental tests are expected to be surpassed in order to be allowed in any military training camp. Such approaches ensures those that are qualified to withstand the pressure that comes with the job prescription. The age factor in such careers are specific to certain ages depending on the type of training an individual should go through while expected to assist the society (Alex, &Jim, p214). The age factors has been taken into consideration to ensure that the mental capacity of an individual is not an issue when it comes decisions made later. The same approach of age factor has been used to discuss age limits when it comes to voting or voter registration. The perspective reached and viewed in such scenarios arise when it also comes to the responsibility of electing leaders at any level of governance. Such choices have ensured that the real age limits are used to protect the mental capacity of individuals upon the decisions made in the society.
Proponents have further argued that if an individual at the age of 18 years can be allowed to make decisions in guarding the country and voting then alcohol will not be a problem to them. It will be among the many decisions they would have to make while growing up. Proponents to the idea champion the same over the expansion of the market that will be good for business. Lowering the age limit will mean an expansion in the alcohol business market unlike increasing the age limit. Further, for proponents, lowering age will mean that teenagers who have time to engage in drinking alcohol would be able to learn how to control themselves in the presence of alcohol. The reason actually persuades a society where teenagers hide in parties to drink alcohol and such scenarios will cure the vice.
Opponents have advocated for harsh and stiffer rules to be made to regulate alcohol drinking and distribution. This essentially means that legislations should be made to punish distillers and distributors who are found selling the product to persons not within the drinking age limits. The vices that come with alcohol drinking have further touched the proponents to reconsider their campaigns to reduce the age limit. The rules and regulations will mostly regulate the hours and places where people are expected to drink at a given time. Such measures as propagated by opponents would counter opportunities available to underage persons from engaging in drinking sprees. Such a move however has been countered by proponents who suggested that teenagers or those below the age limits have put up new tactics to purchase alcohol. This can be either through an adult who is a next of kin or a friend. Others end up even passing favors to strangers at entrances of the shops, malls and alcohol joints.
Dealers, retailer and distributors of alcohol have the responsibility to ensure that scenarios surrounding the age limit take the right cause. Their experience in witnessing those under the influence is enough evidence for them to voice their concern over the controversial issue of age limit in the society. Some opponents in the debate surrounding the age limit issue have argued that some research statistics have come up with dangerous results concerning teenage drinking: “Among drinkers only, 32% of under-age compared to 24% of legal age are heavy drinkers”. Such statistics has raised issues with the proponents towards the reduction age limit of alcohol drinking. The important aspect of the society is to ensure self-preservation of generations of generations, and such data offers threats to such visions. Further, opponents to the idea have also campaigned that medical reports across the nation have indicated that alcohol drinking amongst teenagers have deter their memories from proper growth since the contents in the alcohol disrupts some of the brain cells from full development.
The importance of maintaining the age limit above 21 years or even higher would reduce more incidences in the society like unaccounted for deaths. Homicide cases and road accidents from time to time have been caused by alcohol drinking from those below the age limit. Drinking beyond the required amount and hours causes such scenarios across the country. In the strict sense, teenagers age in such scenarios unlike the adults who know the consequences of such choices. Although proponents fight for the reduction of the age limit basing their argument in the position that earlier exposure earlier maturity, the opposite fights that from such deaths statistics. The society should work on the reality provided for by different bodies surrounding teenage alcohol drinking. The consequences are harsh to the young generation as compared to the profits anticipated by distillers upon expending the market value.
Morals within the society should give a stand towards the debate between the proponents and opponents in the debate. Morality is pillared by three factors namely, consequences, values and obligations.
Values in any society will determine the growth of one generation to the next. The question asked should be whether reducing or increasing drinking age limit will promote such visions in the society. The answer to the same is subject to debate depending which point of view is more important. As per the reasons propagated fort by the opponents groups, the answer should be that the age limit should even be further increased. Such will ensure that individuals drink at an appropriate age at all costs. The increased age will give teenagers time to visualize on the effects of alcohol or its importance before engaging in the activity. The values expected of them will be achieved as the lessons learnt from one generation will anchor to the next hence securing the self-preservation vision.
The right to drink has its obligations at the end of the day. A person must know that when you engage in drinking sprees, the opposite must also be put into consideration. This perspective is a responsibility of both the government and the society that are mandated to secure the future of generations. The government on its part has to legislate on reasonable laws that will favor both sides of the debate. The society on the other hand, has the obligation of ensuring the laws are followed by all members irrespective of their social status.
The age limits advocated for by the proponents and opponents have their different consequences in the social set up. The selection of either side will mean that the effects that come with such decisions must also be tackled upon proper procedures set to cure the vices that may arise. The choice lies amongst all the stakeholders in the alcohol industry to come up with proper measure to balance the demands of either sides in the debate.
Exceptions of Persons
Drinking age limits has its effects on both sides of the divide groups. This is considered to have an impact on some of the selected few groups in the society. As a matter of debate, the legislation made should be considered to groups lie alcohol addicts and those drinking under medical directions. For the addicts, the position would be to counter the urge to drink alcohol at the tender age upon undergoing evaluation and treatment in rehabilitation centers. The position will be under supervision of qualified professionals in the area. The second scenario would be under the directions of a doctor to cure certain medical conditions a person in undergoing through during medication. Such positions must be taken care of by the different federal governments that are mandated with the task of supervising their respective health authorities’, bodies and institutions within their jurisdictions.
In conclusion, the debate to reduce or increase the drinking age limit in the country will remain a contentious issue between the two groups. The different stakeholders have to balance the importance of each side to ensure every member of the society is free from the vice anticipated from engaging in the activity. It is my opinion that the opponents have the day through the different consequences that have arose over the past years considering the fact that the age limit was only 24 years. Imagine if it is reduced even much further to say 18 years. What would be the consequences?