What is on my mind: At the moment, the drinking age

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It would have saved a lot of students the struggle of an underage during their first two years at college, but lowering the drinking age is far from beneficial.

The argument of being a legal adult, being able to vote and the ability to serve your country are all controversial facts that those arguing to lower the drinking age hold in their favor. But, scientific data does not lie — the current drinking age is saving lives and your health.

According to data used in a 2008 article by usnews.com, there have been more than 50 scientific studies conducted on the effectiveness of the drinking age — all of which proved that keeping the drinking age at 21 is saving lives. Additionally, usnews.com reported that regardless of what some may believe, Congress is not the only group of politicians setting the bar at 21.

Before 1984, 20 states already had regulations designating 21 years of age as the appropriate year in which one should have legal access to alcohol. Furthermore, since the drinking age has been widely accepted by all states [1984], usnews.com reported the number of young people killed each year by drunk-driving accidents involving underage drinkers has decreased dramatically. Incidents involving fatal drunk driving accidents went from over 5,000 in the early 1980s to about 2,000 in 2005, according to usnews.com. As hard as it is to believe that this drastic drop in deaths is contributed to the set drinking age, the numbers are consistent. The drinking age is where it needs to be.

Besides the point that the drinking age is combating the death of young Americans, the scientific data that supports the fact that binge drinking by teens severely damages the growth of the brain backs my decision to side with Congress. Scientific data reported by usnews.com proves that the teenage brain does not stop developing until the early to mid-20s. That being said, binge drinking takes a huge effect on the development of the brain by affecting the decision-making process, coordination and memory in teens.

Hearing the data reported by usnews.com is not only chilling, but overwhelmingly hard to argue against. I would have loved to have dismissed the fear of getting in trouble when I was underage, but I support the decision to set the drinking age at 21. Sure, many SU students have wished at one point or another that they were fortunate enough be around when they could legally drink alcohol at a younger age, but additional scientific data reported by usnews.com also proved that since the drinking age has been raised, binge drinking has also decreased at an alarming rate.

So before you go and criticize our country for actively enforcing the drinking age, understand that the science behind the law proves that this enforcement is saving the lives of America’s youth.

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