I don’t think that the legal drinking age is obnoxiously high, (now that I’m two years away from it), but it also doesn’t make sense to me. If, at eighteen, you are considered a legal adult, able to vote, drive and buy pornography and no longer covered under your parents health plan, where is the moral dilemma in being able to buy your own alcohol?
Playing the devil’s advocate, one could make the case that kids are still getting alcohol long before their nineteenth birthday, and doing so illegally, with all the guilt and fear that comes from that. Do the police enjoy charging “minors” three days from their nineteenth birthday? Does the court system enjoy dealing with the ridiculous number of eighteen year olds that are fined or in other legal trouble for having a drink before they turn the big one-nine? I highly doubt it.
So why was the age raised in the first place? When you look to places like France and Italy, in which the any kind of drinking age is very seldom enforced, we see a society of adults who have learned early on how to responsibly enjoy alcohol. Where is the harm in that? What are we, as a society, so terrified of? As a teenager, I can tell you that we are much more likely to reach for the ‘forbidden fruit’ that alcohol now is than a can of pop, which is readily available. Where having a beer as minor of a thing as having a glass of orange juice at a restaurant, we would not be nearly as fixated on it. Teens want to push our luck, to feel adult and see just how much we can get away with. A drinking age of nineteen is an unnecessary temptation to us. Eighteen, we could cope with.