What Do You Mean By Legal Drinking Age?
The age at which a person is allowed to purchase and consume alcohol legally is called the legal drinking age. The legal drinking age varies across the world. While people in continents like Europe consume alcohol at a very young age of 16, in India it is as high as 25 years. In Islamic countries consumption of alcohol is completely prohibited by the people of that religion. Every country has a defined legal drinking age prescribed for its citizens. The issue of identifying the optimum drinking age in order to avoid alcoholic abuse is a never ending problem. It involves a number of issues like freedom, parental interference and responsibility.
What Is The Legal Drinking Age In The US?
Legal drinking age in the US is 21 years. Though a legal age of 21 is prescribed in the US, citizens are legally allowed to drink even below the legal age. Prior to the enactment of National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984, different states in the US had different legally prescribed age for drinking. With the enactment of this Act all the states where required to rise the minimum age for purchase and consumption of alcoholic beverages to 21. Those states which do not comply with the said requirement will face a reduction in their share of highway funds allotted under the Federal Highway Aid Act. This law does not apply to a person below 21 years of age where he is found in public possession of alcohol where it is required under religious, educational, medical and private and professional or occupational purposes.
The exception to this rule is extended where the family member of the individual consents. Certain other aspects like consumption in a private property also allows individuals below the age of 21 to consume alcohol under exception rule. Again, what is considered a private property differs from state to state.
Legal Drinking Age In The US Is Considered The Highest
The legal drinking age in the US is considered too high. Well the question here is about the effectiveness of the 21 years legislation in curbing the alcoholic abuse. As of January 2007, close to 14 states in the US prohibit underage consumption of alcohol while 19 states do not specifically prohibit consumption of alcohol below 21 years of age and 17 states allow underage consumption under family consent or private consumption criteria. How effectively one can curb alcoholic abuse and what will be the right age for its implementation is irreconcilable.