Before 1984 the US had open state laws that allowed the sale of alcohol to people of 18 years or older. However, when Reagan noticed an increase in drunk driving deaths he created the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984, which took away 5% of state highway funding. This Act needs to be terminated so that states can make alcohol legal for 18 year olds once again.
The first reason that the Act should be terminated is because, there are fewer accidents and fatalities in many countries with a minimum legal drinking age of 18. According to World Health Rankings, the UK is ranked number 59th, while the US is ranked 39th in the world for most alcohol related deaths. This shows that age is not the factor in this equation that is causing death. If it were, the U.S. wouldn’t be ranked within the top 40 countries for most alcohol related deaths while countries with lower drinking ages are much lower on the list.
The next reason that the government should terminate that Act is because 18 is the age in the US that children mature into, and are considered lawfully as, adults. This means that they are able to get married, sign legal contracts, purchase lottery tickets, purchase cigarettes, and fight for your country. U.S. Representative Jack Kingston finds that not being able to have an alcoholic beverage while protecting their country is absurd and said “They’re going to the Middle East to kill people. They’re going to be driving tanks. They’re going to be flying helicopters. If they’re in Kings Bay, they’re going to be in submarines, and yet we won’t let them drink when they’re on base. It doesn’t make sense. It’s an insult to soldiers”. Most people would agree that the actions Jack Kingston listed hold more responsibility than having self-control while consuming alcohol, and it is outright unfair to hold such privilege from people protecting us.
The last reason that the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 should be terminated is that all states could receive there 5% highway funding as well as profit from all of the new business that 18,19, and 20 year olds will bring in. According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, “underage drinking accounts for 17.5% ($22.5 billion) of consumer spending for alcohol in the United States”, so regulation is clearly not sufficient and if underage adults are spending that much a year, imagine how much more money each state could make and benefit from eliminating the Act.
As it has been established that an 18 year old in this country can make their own decisions, we need to give them the right to an alcoholic beverage, and stop being indecisive on what is really considered an adult. Doing this and eliminating the act would not only benefit people between 18 and 21 but would help the entire country through taxation. Therefore states should abandon the 5% highway deal and bring down their drinking age, making up for the 5% loss with the new income. If this trend started it would entice other states to follow, eventually leading to the termination of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984.