A topic that is still widely debated to this day is the minimum drinking age. At 21, many believe that this age should be lower for an array of reasons, ranging from claims that the current laws don’t hinder the 18-20 demographic from drinking, to the belief that the laws force this college aged group to binge drink and to not practice responsibility while inevitably consuming alcohol illegally. Take a look around any college campus, for example. 80% of students at Chapel Hill are classified as 21 and under (admissions), while there are around 30 bars and restaurants that serve alcohol within a mile radius of one another. On any given night, there are students under 21 breaking the law, using fake i.d’s to illegally occupy these bars. There are others, who may not risk attending the bars, but still get their fill of alcohol, whether it is served at a house party or even just supplied by an older friend, to be enjoyed under the supervision of similar aged peers. The moral of this is that the debates that have been a topic of discussion for so long still are prevalent to this day. When states began to change the drinking age along with the 26th amendment in the 1970’s however, there was an epidemic which would successfully end the discussion for those who believe, to this day, that the drinking age should be lowered. The number of car crashes occurring in the states which lowered their drinking ages in the 1970’s saw an astonishing increase in the number of traffic accidents. “In the mid-1970s, 60 percent of all traffic fatalities were alcohol related, according to the National Institute of Health(NIH). Over two-thirds of car accidents involving persons aged 16 to 20 were alcohol-related.” (Boston) These states that lowered their drinking age saw dramatic increases in alcohol related accidents, among those with the new right to consume alcohol. While the topic is still widely discussed to this day, the facts of a lowered drinking age were shown with the nation wide studies of the 1970’s: when the age is lowered, the number of fatal car crashes increases.
UNC Admissions Office. http://admissions.unc.edu/apply/class-profile/. Web. Accesses 4.6.2015
Tietjen, Denali. “Why 21? A Look at Our Nation’s Drinking Age.” Boston.com. The New York Times, 17 July 2014. Web. 06 Apr. 2015. <http://www.boston.com/health/2014/07/17/why-look-our-nation-drinking-age/rzK2FA5UYj0LgwJ5Ujrr7I/story.html>.