“Some laws just don’t make sense,” said Ryan. He was talking to a group of friends during recess at school one day. “I just got my driver’s license! And next election I can vote, but I am still too young to drink! Surely if I am old enough to drive and vote, I am old enough to decide for myself if I want to drink? I mean, I’m not going to become an alcoholic! I just want to have the odd drink in a club when I feel like it. And I do know how to hold my liquor!”
At first glance, what Ryan said may seem to make an awful lot of sense. Especially since statistics show that 80% of high school students have tried alcohol, even though they are below the legal age requirement. Most teenagers would agree that whether to drink is a personal decision that they should be allowed to make by the time they are 18, if not younger. Personal decisions need to be informed decisions, and not simply emotionally charged reactions. So let us look at some information that will allow us to make an educated choice on the matter.