Those who choose to drink are drinking more
Consider this: 90% of the alcohol consumed by 18-20 year-olds is consumed when the individual is engaged in a episode of heavy drinking. Especially when understood in terms of the effect of large quantities of alcohol on the developing brain, this is an alarming statistic. The 21 year-old drinking age has pushed young adult and adolescent drinking behind closed doors and away from supervision by parents, residence life staff, and other adults authority figures. Drinking that is not out in the open, and drinking that requires one to find a dark corner or travel to a remote location, is drinking that puts not only the drinker, but also the innocent citizen, at greater risk. The behavioral consequences of binge drinking are harmful, often destructive, and occasionally fatal. High schools, colleges, and military bases are forced to grapple with the devastating consequences of excessive drinking as it becomes the norm for young Americans.