Prohibition Of The Ages
Taborri I. Bruhl
Prohibition of the Ages
Prohibition was set in place in 1920, this law outlawed the purchase, production, and possession of alcoholic beverages in the united states. After only a short time the government realized that this was an ineffective law, and they reversed it. They realized that the total abolishment of alcohol caused more problems than it solved. Then in 1984 the government established the same laws, only this time for persons under the age of 21. These new laws have caused even more problems for Americans than the total prohibition that had been abandoned in 1933. The problems caused by the raising of the drinking age to 21 have far surpassed the actual benefits of the ridiculous law. Unless these laws are changed, this problems will continue to rise until they reach an extreme volatile state. This is why the National Minimum Drinking Act of 1984 is wrong and why a proposal of lowering the drinking age should be considered by our government as a solution to the problems that are associated with alcohol consumption in the United States.
The National Minimum Drinking Act of 1984, or as I refer to it the prohibition of the ages is an incorrect and ineffective solution to drinking problems in our country. The statistics that are shoved down the throats of the American public are the same ones that were used in 1984 to “persuade” (more like blackmail) our congressmen into passing the NMDA act. Different organizations were involved in these persuading techniques, but the main organization was MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving). These groups all started out with good intentions but ended up on a road completely unrelated to what they were formed for. MADD for instance was formed to combat drunk drivers, which is a very noble cause, drunk driving is dangerous and deadly. The changes that the group advised on help make the number of drunk drivers go down. But at some point in time MADD changed its course and began its war with the drinking age. At the time it was 18 in all states, MADD did not like this, and were some of the main reasons the laws were changed. with chapters of MADD all across the nation it was a formidable army when it needed to be. And through “persuading” mass letters, phone calls, and other mediums of media attention the group members of MADD were able to overwhelm their respective members of congress and have the NMDA act signed on. This act not only increased the penalties for drunk driving, but also raised the drinking age to 21 and increased the penalties associated with underage drinking. That law has had a ripple effect unto this country that will be felt until the day of its departure. The law forced the alcohol culture into submission and manipulated it into the undergrounds of current residence.
While most statistics that you see in the media would have you believe that having a 21 minimum drinking age actually helps this country the reverse is almost just as true. Due to the fact that persons under 21 cant drink in this country it is much more difficult to find real statistics to the problems associated with drinking. An example would be the stat that a higher drinking age saves 1000# lives a year in the US, while the other side of the stat is 1400# lives a year are taken due to binge drinking. Those statistics do not include the injuries that are caused by alcohol consumption under the age of 21, the fact of the matter is that many lives are taken away each year because of the underground culture that drinking has become.
Before the law was passed, a person of legal age (18) was allowed to go to a restaurant, bar, or house and consume alcohol responsibly. This was the age of high school graduation for most, and close to all college freshman were 18 or older. This often meant that a part of getting to know your professors was to go out to a pub and discus matters with them not normally discussable in class, it was a way to build a strong relationship between student and professor#. Those days have been far forgotten by today’s youths. For the consumption of today’s alcohol cannot be legally done unless 21, the age of most seniors or graduates from college. Until the age of 21 drinking is often partaken by consumption to intoxication. With unsupervised, uncontrollable youths drinking to get drunk, and are not allowed the ease of drinking in legal status. The true problem is that by the time a person reaches the age of 21, most of their personality traits have already been defined, this includes their view on alcohol consumption. The view associated with underage drinking are that it is something to be done in privacy, secrecy, and to be done in a very dark antisocial environment, which is always a cautious, tense, dark setting. This is why many young drinkers cannot handle the responsibility. Because they are treated like children and never allowed to learn properly the safe drinking techniques that are assumed to be learned by the age of 21. Yet, how can we expect our youths to be safe with something they were denied proper, legal instruction over.
At the age of 18 you can do almost anything you want legally in the united states. You are allowed to own a gun, buy lotto tickets, enlist in your armed forces, be sentenced to life in prison, or the death penalty, you can buy tobacco, gamble, you can do just about anything except consume alcohol. The age of 18 is considered to be the age of consent in most of the modern world. There are few other laws that restrict you over the age of 18. Yet the choice to consume alcohol has been reserved for people over the age of 21, why is this? This is because the American public has been duped by organizations, and people that have been on a power trip for too long now.
It all started before the NMDA was passed, and continues to this day. The organizations used media blackmail essentially to coheres the law makers to pass a law to combat drinking and driving. The success in the fight against drinking and driving was just a start though. The real motives of these groups became more evident as time passed on. No longer was it ok just for the drinking and driving laws to be changed, the entire drinking culture had to be spun on its head. To do this the 21 and up law was proposed and signed on July 17 1984. But how could the US make such a law?
By unconstitutionally and sneakily removing states rights when it came to the drinking laws. Now, even though our US government gave “sate rights” they still had to abide by federal granted money. The majority of this money went into the transportation systems for the US. What the federal government did was give the states an unfair option, either they change the drinking laws, or no federal highway money would be granted. This law backed the states into a corner until they had no choice but to allow the laws to be passed .
One argument that could be made about keeping the drinking age where it is could be that many lives have been saved on the roads since the conception of over 21 drinking laws. But the 21 and up law was not the sole contributor to the life saving. A stricter drinking level had been put in place. A change to .08 BAC as opposed to a .10 BAC of years earlier. Also the fines and punishments were increased for drunk driving. Not to mention people were smarter cause they all know what to do, which was to not drink and drive. Another argument could be that today’s youths are safer with a 21 drinking law instead of an 18. This is not true, more youths die from alcohol poisoning, drowning, or other accidents than ever before. This can be related to the fact that the NMDA has turned alcohol use into a dark, underground, habit. No one is safe because they are not shown to take alcohol safely due to laws.
The current status of a drinking age at 21 is wrong. The reasons for the law being passed were twisted and the image of the American law system will forever be changed in my mind. The current reasons for keeping the law are no longer correct, if they ever were to begin with, and changes need to be made. No just law causes this much controversy, there needs to be another option. The legal age of suffrage is 18, you should be able to drink alcohol at that age. The prohibition didn’t work in the 20’s and that was for the entire American public. The current situation is no different. But instead of a mass prohibition, it is an unjust, prohibition of the ages.