The legal drinking age doesn’t keep kids from drinking because that is not what it is intended to do.
The legal drinking age was put in place to decrease the amount of fatalities from motor vehicle accidents due to teens drinking and driving, not to protect their growing brains from the negative effects of alcohol.
Source 1. Lovenheim, M. F., & Slemrod, J. (2010). The fatal toll of driving to drink: The effect of minimum legal drinking age evasion on traffic fatalities. Journal of Health Economics, 29(1), 62–77. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhealeco.2009.10.001
“we find that in counties within 25 miles of a lower-MLDA jurisdiction, a legal restriction on drinking does not reduce youth involvement in fatal accidents”, states Elsevier.
Beer taxes are put in place to decrease the amount of motor vehicle accidents, not to discourage teen drinking.
“Since the mid-1970s, the federal government of the United States and various state and local governments have been involved in a campaign to reduce deaths from motor vehicle accidents by discouraging alcohol abuse.” states De Gruyter. The attempts to discourage the use of alcohol isn’t with the intent of discouraging illegal and underage drinking due to the various health risks, but due to the apparent threat of motor vehicle fatalities.
Arguments that state that the legal drinking age should be lowered to 18 give the stipulation that coursework and exams should coincide with the decision to allow teenagers to legally drink with the proper education. This leads us to believe that the concern surrounds teenagers poor decisions regarding operating vehicles while under the influence of alcohol and not the damage that could occur from consuming alcohol with a brain that is not fully developed.
“The lower levels of use persisted into the early 20s, even after all respondents were of legal age; and lowered involvement in alcohol-related fatal crashes among drivers under 21 appeared due to lower alcohol consumption rates–in particular, less drinking in bars or taverns.”
A majority of motor vehicle fatalities that are caused by drunk driving are by young drivers. Lowering the drinking age makes it more difficult to obtain alcohol. A lower alcohol consumption rate and less drinking in bars or taverns that need to be driven to decreases the risk of teens causing accidents due to drunk driving. Teens will continue to drink their illegally obtained alcohol in the confines of their own homes, but there is less of a chance that they will be driving.
The above study summarizes that a beer tax would decrease highway mortality rates by 27 percent with just over a dollar increase in price. The goal is to decrease fatalities in all of these situations which is not what many people believe its intentions are. From all of these sources it can be concluded that since the main goal is to decrease drunk driving and deaths caused by this, there are other ways to achieve it rather than having a legal drinking age. There should in fact be a legal drinking age since the use of alcohol on developing brains having devastating impacts is of course a concern, there is proof that it can successfully be lowered since its main goal is to save lives. It cannot be lowered without compensation in other areas to prohibit drunk driving, however.