NOT AN ADULT 4
Lawsthat govern the minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) in the UnitedStates were enacted in 1933 setting the age at 21 years. In 1970,there were arguments due to the social upheaval and most states wereforced to drop the MLDA to the age 18 years. It did not last longbecause numerous factors such as traffic accidents among the 18 yearsold forced majority of the States to return the period to 21 years.The federal government encouraged all States to enforce the age 21MLDA by establishing rules that would ensure that all States conformto the MLDA requirements. These laws also prohibit people below 21years to possess or consume alcoholic beverages when parents orguardian is present. In 2000, a new movement emerged with an attemptto lower the MLDA to 18 years. The aims were to debate on the currentMLDA and have a lasting solution.
Michiganwas the first State to return the MLDA to age 21 in 1970s. Thedifference in MLDA amongst States forced underage individuals driveto other countries where the MLDA was lower and purchase alcoholthere. Research findings facilitated these changes. Evidence showedthat there was an increase in road accidents among the 18 and 20years old. These results were forwarded to the Michigan Council onAlcohol problems, and it found it necessary to return the MLDA age to21 years. Retailers opposed the move, and this led to increasedcampaigns by the MCAP.
Theamendment of the age 21 MLDA was challenged by opponents who arguedthat the plan was unconstitutional and discriminative. The Michiganfederal district court gave decision basing it on three groundsFirst alcohol drinking is not guaranteed in the US constitution.Second, age is no not inherently for discrimination and finallydrinking age cannot be the solution to prevent traffic accidents. TheMLDA was passed by legislature to 19 years. The MCPA had to convincethe public by forming a political party that eventually led to thepassing of the MLDA age to 21. It was passed by both constitutionalamendments and referendum.
Astrategy to make a global age 21 MLDA faced serious implications. Anamendment of the US constitution in 1933 gave individuals power toregulate alcohol purchase within their borders. The national leadersled by President Ronald Reagan recognized the dangers of drunkdriving and formed the Presidential Commission on Drunk Driving. TheCommission was tasked with increasing public awareness andencouraging states to adopt current techniques to address theseissues. In addition, recommendations such as education and enactmentof strong legislation were proposed to reduce drunk driving. Thecommission also urged all States to raise their MLDA to 21 years.
Regardlessof the evidence the age 21 MLDA has reduced alcohol consumption amongthe underage, most of the youth continue drinking and experienceproblems. The problems have strongly affected college students andcampuses. The National Institute on Alcohol use and related problemswere formed to help reduce drinking among college students. It issueda number of recommendations in an attempt to address these issues.One of their suggestions was to enforce laws that would restrictalcohol consumption for underage. In addition, non- profitorganization were established that helped empower young people aswell as informing them the side effects of alcohol in their life.
Chooseresponsibly was a non-profit organization established by DR JohnMcCardell, who was a former president of Middlebury College. Heargued that the MLDA should be lowered to between 18- 20 years.Alternately, he emphasized that the state should ensure that theyoung people are well educated on how to drink responsibly as well asoffering drivers learning programs. In addition, those who pass theseprograms successfully be should be issued with drinking license.However, the argument is inconsistent with the National Institute onAlcohol abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and The Institute of Medicine.Choose responsibly has been successful and recently it developed anew advocacy called amethyst Initiative. The aim is to recruituniversities chancellors to support lowering the MLDA to 18. SelectedChancellors would also come up with new ways of helping the youthmake mature decisions in matters related to alcohol.