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Drinking Age

Kaitlyn Turner Fall 2010 CA 110 Mr. Foutz Introduction Attention-Getter: How many of you are 18? For those of you who are, 18 years old you are considered adults in nearly all aspects of the law, including voting rights and the ability to join the military, yet the United States still treats you as minors when it comes to drinking. Establishment of Credibility: According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services 7,000 teenagers under the age of 16 have already had their first sip of alcohol.

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Teen alcohol) According to the Century Council 10 million teens from the ages 12-20 admit to consuming alcohol in the past 30 days. 2% of 12 year olds drink, 22% of 16 years olds drink, and 56% of 20 year olds drink, and these percentages are steadily increasing. (Underage drinking statistics) Thesis/ Purpose: During my speech today, I will talk about how alcohol is ever-present in today’s American society. I will also talk about how alcohol is present all around people under 21 who are not allowed to consume it, but in reality most people under 21 drink alcohol and abuse alcohol.

Throughout this speech I will try to persuade you to believe that the United States should lower their drinking age to 18, and begin educating teens on consuming alcohol responsibly. Preview of Main Points: First, I will discuss the current legal drinking age in the United States and other countries. Then, I will discuss the effects that the current legal drinking age has on America. Finally, I will talk about the potential benefits of a lower drinking age. ,, Body Main Idea 1: (Transition) Now, I am going to tell you about the current legal drinking age in the United States and other countries.

A. United States 1. According to Alcohol Problems and Solutions legal drinking age in the United States is 21. i. Alcohol Problems and Solutions states, “The minimum drinking age of 21 in the U. S. appears to be not only ineffective but actually counter-productive. Although it was passed with the best of intentions, it has had some of the worst of outcomes. ” 2. Legal drinking ages in the United States are under control of the states, which means the states get to decide how old they want their residents to be before being able to consume alcohol. . National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 ii. According to the Alcohol Policy Information System the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 required that states prohibit persons under the age of 21 from purchasing or publicly possessing alcohol beverages as a condition of receiving State highway funds. B. In Other Countries a. According to Alcohol Problems and Solutions countries legal drinking ages vary from zero-21. i. Some countries with no drinking age Jamaica, Viet Nam, and Morocco. ii.

Some countries with a 16 year old legal drinking age are Germany, Greece, Norway, Poland, and Spain. iii. Some countries with an 18 year old legal drinking age are Belize, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Ireland, Mexico, Russia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. (Transition): Now that I have told you about the current legal drinking age in the United States and other countries, I will discuss the effects of the current drinking age. Main Idea 2: The United States legal drinking age of 21, has many negative effects on those who are under age. A.

Alcohol is considered a, “Forbidden Fruit”. Alcohol is considered a forbidden fruit because prohibition increases the harm that it is supposed to reduce. a. Because the United States as such a high drinking age, teenagers are driven “underground” to drink alcohol. i. According to Parade. com Since teenagers are not allowed to drink openly in public, teens take their drinking to dorm rooms, isolated areas, or at unsupervised house parties. At these gatherings teens usually binge drink, because they are scared their party may be stopped. (Flynn) ii.

Also according to Parade. com when teens come about a problem, such as someone drinking too much alcohol at these parties, or assaults, they are less likely to call for help because they are scared of getting in trouble. (Flynn) B. High Rates of Alcohol Abuse and Addiction b. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention binge drinking plays a huge part in Alcohol Abuse. Binge drinking is excessive drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration to . 08 percent or above. iii. Men – 5 drinks in two hours. iv. Women – 4 drinks in two hours. v.

About 90% of the alcohol consumed by youth under the age of 21 in the United States is in the form of binge drinks. Main Idea 3 (Transition): Now that I have told you some of the negative effects of underage drinking, I will tell you about the potential benefits of a lower drinking age. A. Potential Benefits of a Lower Drinking Age a. Young people will learn to drink alcohol more responsibly. i. According to the group Choose Responsibility, if the drinking age is lowered to 18, everyone will be required to take an alcohol education class before they turn 18 to inform them on the dangers of alcohol. . Would lead to less alcohol abuse and addiction ii. Since alcohol would no longer be considered a forbidden fruit, teens could drink in more open environments such as social events and bars where their consumption could be monitored. iii. Some teens may also feel as if they have a more freedom; therefore, they would make more responsible decisions when it comes to consuming alcohol. Conclusion Signal the End: Today I have hopefully persuaded you to believe that the United States should lower their legal drinking age.

Review of Main Points: I have told you about the United States and other countries legal drinking ages. What the current legal drinking age does to American teens. Also, the potential benefits of a lower drinking age. Closing: Now that I have told you reasons to lower the drinking age I hope you agree that by lowering the drinking age, the United States can begin to raise more responsible drinkers, who will not be as prone to alcohol abuse or addiction as today’s Americans are.

Works Cited “15 Reasons Why Drinking Age Should be 18. 2009. Web. 29 Nov. 2010. Alcohol Policy Information System. “The National Minimum Drinking Age Policy of 1984. ” Web. 29 Nov. 2010. “Binge Drinking. ” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2009. Web. 29 Nov. 2010. “Choose Responsibility. ” 2010. Web. 29 Nov. 2010. Flynn, Sean. “Should the Drinking Age be lowered? ” Parade. 2007. Web. 29 Nov. 2010. “Minimum Legal Drinking Ages around the World . ” 2010. Web. 29 Nov. 2010. “Teen Alcohol” 2010. Web. 29 Nov. 2010. “Underage Drinking Statistics. ” 2010. Web. 29 Nov. 2010.