50 states had adopted the 21 legal drinking age limit by 1988. Before this legislation came into effect, fraternities had kegs in open places in the university, gatherings of students on campus included beer and university administrators including police often strolled through the fraternity parties ensuring that everything was under control. Mothers Against Drunk Driving, (MADD)’s well-intentioned leaders succeeded in convincing politicians that voting against the bill was a favor of drunken driving. With this concerted effort, the bill gained a unanimous passage in both the Senate and the House. MADD’s website indicates that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approximations show that the new legislation which moved the minimum legal drinking age to 21 saves about 900 lives every year. Nonetheless, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that more than 4,300 underage youths die annually as a result of the unregulated consumption of alcohol. CDC also revealed that underage people with an age bracket of between 12 and 20 drink 11 percent of the alcohol in the U.S. and it is believed that more than 90 percent of the consumed alcohol is done during binge drinking (Glaser, 2015). Those advocating the 21 age limit observe that higher drinking age minimizes traffic fatalities and accidents related to alcohol by keeping teens whose brain is still developing out of drinking. The U.S. is cited by the World Health Organization as one of the few developed nations with a minimum drinking age of 18 years. Other developed countries with above 21 limits include Japan, Thailand, South Korea, and Iceland. Many countries including Denmark, Belgium, and Germany allow teens aged 16 to buy wine or beer. Marjana Martinic the International Center for Alcohol Policies (ICAP)’s deputy president observes that the views of most countries are that 18 is areasonable age limit for drinking. He further indicates that the Puritan ethic has molded the way the U.S. regulates alcohol.
Legal Drinking Age in the U S