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Sarah Baker
Ms. Caruso
UWRT 1103
April 4, 2016
Defense Paper
In my curiosity of why laws change I began researching about the drinking age as well as
the good and bad that come from it being set at 21. When I first started researching I agreed with
the law because I thought that’s what was the safest for teens and frankly, everyone. After I
started looking into the reasons behind raising the drinking age, as well as the effects more and
learning more about what is happening because of it being higher, my opinion switched, but with
some hesitations such as letting teens drink in controlled environments or teaching them how to
responsibly drink without going overboard, at least most of the time. It’s important for teens,
parents, and even law makers to be aware of how binge drinking is harming more teens than
driving accidents did in the 80s, which is why the age was raised in the first place.
The genre used to relay my opinion that the drinking age should be lowered to 18 is a
board game. The board game is called “The Drinking Game” and is intended to make players
aware of how many choices there are when it comes to drinking alcohol and how altering they
can be to someone’s life if they make bad choices. Not only does it show how a person’s choices
affect their life, but also how the law has an impact. This game is intended to show how college
kids are in more danger of dying from binge drinking compared to legal adults who can buy their
own alcohol. Also, it will demonstrate how teens who aren’t taught responsible drinking in a
controlled environment can possibly end up on a bad path from alcohol. The setup of the board
game models most other board games where there is a path to follow to get to the “finish line”.

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However, it is different because there are two paths and the finishing point is a different building
depending on which path you choose. Each player will choose a car of their preferred color with
a person inside of it representing themselves. For each turn the player will roll the dice to see
which square they will go on and see one way their life can be altered from the path they have
chosen.
My genre topic, “The Drinking Game”, is intended for pre-teens and teens to play. It is a
fun way for them to learn the facts of the law being at a legal age of 18 as opposed to 21. Along
with them learning these facts, teens can also learn how other teens get in trouble or end up sick
from falling accustomed to the drinking habit of teens before them. When they learn the ways
teens get in trouble it will hopefully teach them what not to do to end up in the same situations.
The legal drinking age is currently set at 21 in all 50 U.S. states, but that should be
changed. The appropriate age for the law to be at is 18. It would only make sense to lower the
law back down because most college students who are between 18 and 20 are drinking anyways
so why not just lower it so they don’t have to cheat the system? The problem with these underage
drinkers is that they are binge drinking because they don’t have the opportunity to drink every
day and spread out their alcohol consumption. This type of drinking is causing more deaths to
teens than when they were legally allowed to drink at 18. A professor from Indiana University
backs up the logic of lowering the drinking age by arguing how young adults should be taught to
properly drink in bars and other controlled situations like university functions. Ruth Engs
continues her argument by saying, “In these situations responsible drinking could be taught
through role modeling and educational programs. Mature and sensible drinking behavior would
be expected” (Engs 1). This plays into my genre piece by making it one of the good paths people
choose when they consume alcohol. Teens see that if they are able to make this choice to learn to

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control their drinking in places when they are young it will most likely lead them to better life
paths.
Another motive I have to lower the drinking age stems from the reason it was lowered,
alcohol related car accidents involving teens. Even though these numbers have decreased, more
teens are being harmed from alcohol than ever. John McCardell, former president of Middlebury
College, stated, “The law has created a dangerous culture of irresponsible and reckless behavior,
unsupervised binge and extreme drinking” (CBS 1). Putting this in my board game creates two
separate paths to go down. There is the path that goes with the current law of 21 where players
don’t get into drunk driving wrecks, but do end up in the hospital from their binge drinking and
resulting in liver problems. The other path is when the law is at 18. If players choose to take this
path they will be in controlled environments with adults to make sure they are being responsible
with their drinking and don’t let them drive home after they have consumed drinks. This keeps
both the teens and other drivers on the roads safe because it eliminates the chances of the teens
driving while intoxicated.
As long as the drinking age is set at 21 we are enticing teens to drink “underground” and
keeping binge drinking as something to do. Through “The Drinking Game” players can see the
different paths their lives could take based upon the current law and my idea of what the law
should be when they consume alcohol. When teens play this game they are being educated on
how to learn to responsibly drink through both what not-to-do scenarios and what you can do to
learn to drink carefully. Through playing this game I would hope that kids would want to learn
more about the drinking age and law and maybe even try to do something to change it.

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Works Cited
Engs, Ruth. “Why the Drinking Age Should Be Lowered: An Opinion Based Upon Research.”
indiana.edu. 20 Mar. 1998. Web. 4 Feb. 2016. www.indiana.edu.
“The Debate On Lowering the Drinking Age.” CBS news. 19 Feb. 2009. Web. 6 Feb. 2016.
www.cbsnews.com.