The drinking culture today attracts a lot of attention. Since 1984 the drinking age in the United States has been twenty-one. This law has been considered a “bad social policy and a terrible law.” There is a lot of discussion why a soldier can fight and die for the country and not enjoy a beer. I believe this poses a very interesting paradox. Furthermore I believe the drinking age at 21 has caused a culture with more binge drinking and reckless alcohol consumption.
If the drinking age is lowered, I suppose the college drinking atmosphere would be different since it would be less of a deal to drink heavily. I believe the drinking culture today is a result of deprivation. In Europe the drinking atmosphere is much more relaxed and ingrained in their culture. They don’t have the “drink to get drunk” mentality, instead they are used to enjoying a glass or two of wine with their families from a younger age. Adults or parents are able to demonstrate moderate drinking and teach young adults the mature way to drink. On my wine tour in Italy an Italian explained this concept to me. She says she has been drinking wine from a young age with her family and it is considered a tradition and shared experience. She appreciates wine and has learned about wine and how to pair it with certain foods. Drinking was more of a shared experience and practice, rather than an abuse. “Italian youths whose parents allowed them to have alcohol with meals while they were growing up are less likely to develop harmful drinking patterns in the future, according to a new study led by a Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researcher.” When the drinking age is 21, teens are less likely to initially experiment with older more experienced people. This can cause reckless behavior.
Choose Responsibility, a nonprofit organization founded in 2007, is dedicated to increasing the awareness of extreme drinking of young adults. This organization’s main objective is to change the drinking age to eighteen and educate people about alcohol. “They argue that the current law has driven underage boozing underground and into dangerous territory” (Drinking 18 vs. 21). I agree that the drinking age should be lowered. The majority of kids who go to college will be 18 or turning 18 within a couple of months. Today the majority of college students do not turn 21 until their junior or senior year. This disparity in age causes more undercover, unsafe and rebellious drinking. If the drinking age is lowered, drinking can be more relaxed and social, rather than vicious.