Washington, DC — In a press conference at the White House today, President Barack Obama announced his controversial decision to raise the minimum drinking age from 21 to 24 years of age.
“We need to work harder to protect the young people in this country,” Obama told reporters. “Our young folks are dying from alcohol related deaths at all-time record numbers. It is our job as parents to safeguard our children from these kinds of dangers.” Obama continued, “That is why beginning October 1st , all alcohol related purchases will be required to be made by individuals 24-years-old or older. This will benefit everyone and make America a safer place.”
Small business owners around the country were up in arms after Obama made the announcement. “This is absolutely ridiculous,” said 35-year-old Paul Horner, owner of a popular drinking establishment in Phoenix, Arizona called The Lost Leaf. “We rely heavily on the business that the 21-23 crowd provide. This new law enforcing a minimum drinking age of 24 will destroy our business and others just like it. Obama needs to reconsider his actions before real harm is done.”
There has been controversy for years whether 21 is too young to buy alcohol and make decisions.
53-year-old Martha Carlson of MADD said the group is thrilled with the news. “This is a great thing that President Obama has done. Research has shown time and time again that a higher drinking age would save thousands of lives every year. This is due to fewer alcohol-related traffic fatalities among underage drivers and all the health related incidents that would be avoided. This is his legacy, by far his greatest achievement ever. Praise Obama!”
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky told CNN he does not agree with Obama and his announcement to raise the minimum drinking age. “By not putting this for a vote in front of Congress, Obama has clearly defied everything the Constitution stands for,” Paul said. “We can not let this man stomp all over the legal process in this country.”
The minimum age debate began in 1971 when Congress dropped the voting age from 21 to 18. After that many states followed suit and lowered the drinking age to 18 as well.
By 1980, more than half the states in the U.S. had lowered their minimum drinking age, usually from 21 to 18. But when research showed an increase in traffic fatalities in these states, things began to revert back.
On July 17, 1984, President Ronald Reagan signed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act which set the minimum drinking age to 21. Reports found that teens get drunk twice as fast as adults and have more trouble knowing when to stop. The research proved that teens overdo it with alcohol and binge drink more often than adults. The law was created to reduce traffic crashes, protect young people’s health, and keep people safer overall.
Myron Danus, spokesman for the International Center for Alcohol Policies or ICAP told Fox News he believes things are going backwards with today’s decision by the Administration. “If kids can die protecting their country, they should be able to drink a beer. What Obama has done is just plain wrong but I guess only time will tell.”