Breeds disrespect for law and causes ethical compromises
The consumption of alcohol by Americans under the legal drinking age is common and widespread. Yet few of the young people who choose to drink underage give more than a passing acknowledgment to the fact that each time they open a beer or mix a drink they are committing a crime. By banning an entire group of young adults from engaging in a behavior that is universally understood as a symbol of adulthood, the 21 year-old drinking age fosters rampant violation of and disrespect for law—one study estimates that only two in every 1,000 instances of underage drinking results in arrest or citation. In many ways the climate surrounding the 21 year-old drinking age is analogous to that during Prohibition in the 1920s—it is easy to see the culture of speakeasies, rum runners and bathtub gin mirrored in the keg parties, pre-gaming, and beer pong of today.