A common response to the need to "do something" about a perceivedproblem has been to seek a legal solution through legislation and it appearsthat laws in the United States are among the most stringent in the world(Mosher, 1980). Of course, raising the drinking age to reduce drunk drivingis an indirect and incomplete way to attack the problem. "No doubtraising the drinking age to 25, 30 or even 50", as one house of theMississippi legislature recently passed, would also tend to reduce drunkdriving. The youngest age group is being chosen as a symbolic gesture becauseof its political impotence and because...there are no major economic consequences..."(Mosher, 1980, p.31).A more direct end effective approach might be to addressthe problem of intoxicated drivers regardless of their age or social status.
Because of the issues caused by irresponsible drinking, the US government passed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act in 1984 which raised the minimum drinking age to twenty-one to prevent drinking-related accidents and violence.
Comparison of drinking before and after the passage of raised minimumage legislation have generally revealed little impact upon behavior (Perkinsand Berkowitz, 1985; Hanson and Hattauer, n.d.). For example, a study thatexamined college students' drinking behavior before and after
The problem is, the issue of underage drinking and the nationwide ineffectiveness of the drinking age law of twenty-one isn't debated and discussed as much and as aggressively as it should be.
Not surprisingly, age-specific prohibition does not appear to be effectivein reducing either the proportion of drinkers or their drinking problems.A study of a large sample of young people between the ages of 16 and 19in Massachusetts and New York after Massachusetts raised its drinking agerevealed that the average, self-reported daily alcohol consumption in Massachusettsdid not decline in comparison with New York (Hingson et al., 1983). Comparisonof college students attending schools in states that had maintained fora period of at least ten years a minimum drinking age of 21 with thosein states that had similarly maintained minimum drinking ages below 21revealed few differences in drinking problems (Engs and Hanson, 1986).
Following the repeal of the EighteenthAmendment in 1933, prohibitionefforts have largely been age-specific. In 1970, Congress passed the Twenty-SixthAmendment, which grants the right to vote in Federal elections to citizensbetween the ages of 18 and 21. A movement then began to extend other rightsand privileges of adulthood to those aged 18; between 1970 and 1975,29states reduced their minimum legal drinking age (Wagenaar, 1983). However,by the late 1970s controversy over minimum drinking age laws became widespreadand this pattern was reversed. Much of the concern arose over the numberof young people involved in automobile accidents, many of which were alcohol-related(Wechsler and Sands, 1980).
The place of alcohol in American society since the colonial period hasclearly been ambivalent. "Drinking has been blessed and cursed, hasbeen held the cause of economic catastrophe and the hope for prosperity,the major cause of crime, disease and military defeat, depravity and asign of high prestige, mature personality, and a refined civilization"(Straus and Bacon, 1953). This ambivalence is reflected in the changingdrinking age laws and drinking ethos as indicated in Table 10.1.
Although there are countless studies of how alcohol has many harmful effects on teenagers, there is a great deal of negative criticism about what if the drinking age is lowered.
Problems that have been caused by excessive underage drinking include but are not limited to physical assault, health problems, sexual assault, social issues, violence, misconduct and lawlessness, other substance abuse, and overdose....
Despite occasional challenges and the certainty that it is neither universally enforced or observed, the MLDA continues to enjoy strong public support among both adults and teens. An Associated Press poll conducted in June, 2001 found that 68% of teens and adults supported keeping the drinking age at 21, while 16% of teens and 15% of adults supported raising it. 
The most important question is whether or not the drinking age anywhere in the United States should be lowered, raised or if it should stay the same....
Stricter enforcement of age-21 laws against commercial sellers would make those laws even more effective at reducing youth access to alcohol. The ease with which young people acquire alcohol -- nearly three-quarters of 8th graders (71%) say that it is "fairly easy" or "very easy" to get -- indicates that more must be done.  Current laws against sales to minors need stiff penalties to deter violations. Better education and prevention-oriented laws are needed to reduce the commercial pressures on kids to drink.
is associated with a lower proportion of people drinking, alcohol relatedproblems are much more common among those in such milieu who do drink (Hanson,1972). This appears to result from several factors. First, such individualshave typically not learned how to drink. Thus, they have not learned howto use alcohol in moderation. Secondly, they are more likely to drink ina secretive manner or in environments free of moderating or restrainingsocial control over their drinking. Thirdly, abstinence groups often portraythe person who drinks as one who misuses alcohol. Thus, they inadvertentlypresent a negative role model which can guide behavior of those who dodrink (Globetti, 1976, p. l 66). Fourthly, for young people, abstinenceteaching may encourage rather than deter use by making alcohol use a symbolor tool of rebellion against authority. The nature of the rebellion cangain further strength and intensity from disapproval and repression (Globetti,1976, p. 167).
In this paper I am going to defend why there should not be a drinking age, because I believe that it is essential to help solve the underage drinking problems we have in our nation....