Why is underage drinking illegal? 

| Mar 27, 2021 | Underage Drinking

It’s well-known that underage drinking is illegal. In the United States, with just a few exceptions, people cannot drink until they are over 21. Many still do, of course, but doing so is illegal. 

But have you ever stopped to ask yourself why it’s illegal? Is this a law that is just based in morality, where someone decided that young people shouldn’t drink because it seemed arbitrarily wrong? Or is there actually a good reason why people shouldn’t consume alcohol until 21? 

Alcohol can hinder brain development

The biggest argument in favor of these laws is that they essentially protect teens from themselves. Brain development is far from over for a teenager and really doesn’t stop until the mid-20s. Drinking alcohol, especially in large quantities, is known to harm brain development

Another related issue is that teens are known to be impulsive and take risks. This type of activity only increases with alcohol consumption. In many ways, that consumption itself is the risk — it risks harming brain development. The thought is that simply explaining the risks would not be enough to convince teens to wait to drink, so the only alternative is to make underage drinking illegal and hope that acts as a deterrent. 

Is your child facing charges for underage drinking?

The truth is that these laws aren’t much of a deterrent for many teens. If your child drinks anyway and ends up facing charges, you need to know about all of the options you have. Legal issues at a young age can impact the rest of a child’s life, and you must protect their future. 

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