Throughout the history of the United States, there has been controversy over alcohol laws. It seems that our society can’t make up its mind over who should be allowed to drink, when they should drink, and how much they should drink. Even today, alcohol laws are still controversial and there are discussions over legal drinking age, legal blood alcohol content, and what venues are appropriate for serving alcohol.
Prohibition and Legal Drinking Age Discussed
The discussion over alcohol laws goes back at least as far as the prohibition. Even before that time, there were those who spoke openly about the dangers of alcohol, and among certain circles, drinking was very unpopular. When the prohibition came along, our country was divided between those who thought alcohol was downright evil and those who refused to be controlled by such strict regulations.
When alcohol was once again legal, there were other things to be discussed, such as the legal drinking age. Legislators in the past have set the drinking age at 18 and now at 21, and all along, citizens have expressed their opinions about what the legal age should be. Even today, there are many who think the legal drinking age should be lowered, and groups are still working to make that happen.
Promoting Responsible Drinking
Of course, if everyone could drink responsibly there would not be a discussion over alcohol laws. But too often, alcohol causes accidents, injuries, and addiction, and too many lives are lost or destroyed because of the way our society abuses alcohol. Much of the discussion over alcohol laws has to do with ensuring that people are not acting irresponsibly when they fail to regulate themselves.
It all boils down to a choice we have to make. Either our society can start drinking responsibly, not drink too much, stop drinking and driving, and avoid drinking to meet some emotional or psychological need, or we can rely on the government to regulate our drinking habits for us through drunken driving penalties, age restrictions, and mandatory treatment programs for offenders.
There have been many suggestions over the years about how to loosen up our laws concerning alcohol. Whether the majority of Americans think this is a good idea or not, it is imperative that we help those struggling with alcoholism get on the track to sobriety, and that we teach our young people to have a healthy respect for alcohol.