I DONâ€™T DRINK AND I ALSO DONâ€™T AGREE IN CHANGING the legal drinking age from 21 to 18. Iâ€™ve heard it before; people ask me why I care if the legal drinking age changes given that I donâ€™t drink.
The truth is that before, I wasnâ€™t opposed to reducing the legal drinking age. I thought it wouldnâ€™t affect me because I didnâ€™t drink.
But I was wrong. Three years ago, my thoughts about drinking changed drastically.
My friend, who I called â€˜Calde,â€™ was killed by a drunk driver.
Calde was only 22 years old and was engaged to be married to my cousin Elizabeth. But he was killed two months before their wedding. Calde was on his way to visit my cousin Elizabeth when he was hit by the drunk driver.
Instead of Elizabeth welcoming her fiancÃ© into her home, she received the worst news of her life.
I remember my cousin locking herself in her room for weeks, not being able to do anything but cry. It was hard for everyone to lose such a close friend.
Calde was a son, a fiancÃ©, a brother of seven and a friend to many. He was the class clown and he always made everyone laugh.
Yet, it was much more difficult for my cousin to accept that her fiancÃ© was killed â€” especially when she had to sell her wedding dress to get money for her fiancÃ©â€™s funeral.
This incident affected my cousin a lot, but it also affected the way I saw drinking.
The driver, who killed Calde, was over 21 but he still didnâ€™t have the common sense to not drive drunk.
How much more will an 18 year-old who just got a license?
Of course, I understand not all people are irresponsible, but I prefer to keep all possible threats off the road, where they might be a danger to others.
President John Welty recently made it very clear that he would not support the Amethyst Initiative and he rejected the invitation in September.
The Amethyst Initiative is an organization comprised of U.S. college presidents and chancellors that are calling for the reconsideration of U.S. drinking age laws, particularly the minimum age of 21, which was established in 1984 by the National Minimum Purchase Age Act.
Although many may not agree, I support President Weltyâ€™s decision to not support the Amethyst Initiative. I believe the legal drinking age should stay at age 21.
Iâ€™ve heard many people say that we should reduce the drinking age to 18 because teenagers drink more as an act of rebellion.
While others say that keeping the drinking age at 21 saves lives, I prefer to save lives rather then giving into a teenagerâ€™s rebellion.
Because, one day the life saved might be my family, my friend or my fiancÃ©.
There is no way to prove how many lives will be saved from potential car accidents if the legal drinking age is kept at age 21, but we can show how many lives might be lost if we change the drinking age to 18.
An Arizona Department of Public Safety report found that traffic fatalities increased more than 35 percent after the stateâ€™s legal alcohol purchase age was lowered from age 21 to 19.
Statistics show that lowering the legal drinking age is fatal.
But, personal experience makes one feel the pain of losing a loved one to a drunk driver.
And there is no way that allowing a teenager to drink before age 21 is worth a personâ€™s life.
At least not in my book.