Changing the Drinking Age

Lily Drage, Reporter, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Every couple of weeks in elementary school our local police officer, Officer Hopper, would stand against the cubbies and tell us what to do when someone offers drugs or we are pressured to drink alcohol. As a kid, these conversations seemed useless, because at that age just about no one was being offered drugs or pressured to drink.


With time, these small children grew up to be young adults and amongst them, according to Responsibility website, 7.4 million Americans from ages 12 to 20 reported current alcohol consumption. By the age of 15, 33% of teens have had at least one drink. Drinking has been described as the roll of dice, a game of chance, while it may seem that the action of drinking is but a simple way to conform to a group, it can also open doors to a complex side of oneself. Because of this game teens attempt to play, many would argue to change rules or make such things stricter to access.


One student had their first drink at age 11. They explained, “I have never had a bad experience with drinking alcohol because I know how to handle my business.” They went on to say that whatever a parent wants to do around their children is up to them. But the student expressed, “I don’t know why alcohol was invented because of all the problems it causes.” The student acknowledged that parents do have influence on their children drinking. With all these propositions, it is my belief that no age should determine one’s ability to access alcohol. Rather, that the overall sales of alcoholic beverages be inaccessible for adults who are the parents or guardian of children.


While this may help with potential domestic abuse that is influenced in cases by alcohol, it can also determine that children not rely on parents or guardians who gain them access to alcohol. Verywell Mind found that in 2018, a survey found that of a group of parents with children aged 12-20, 71% disagreed that children should be allowed to drink if their parent is present. But one out of four parents, in this survey, indicated that they had allowed their child to drink under their supervision. This goes to show that some parents allow their child to drink while they are present but go as far to disagree with a statement that suggests such a situation.


Some may argue that song lyrics or T.V. show characters have made drinking alluring. But much of the suspected influence resides in the parents. A case study, conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH) found that of 1,000 cases of pregnancy in the U.S. around 2015, 20-50 of the pregnancies demonstrated the ubiquity of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) in the babies born. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2010, 1 in 10 pregnant women reported drinking while pregnant, such ways result in disorders like FASD or Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.


The drinking dice that it’s partakers roll is of greater concern now as more knowledge of its future influence is available. While some consumers look only for enjoyment, others unknowingly endanger the people around them. To prevent such a situation, it is believed that distributors of alcohol understand the state of the consumer. If the state be a stressed parent, an already drunk alcohol searcher, or just someone looking to celebrate something. With all these things considered the prevention of abuse and arrests that result of drunken rage can seemingly drop.