Drinking, driving ages should be raised

Story and captions by Jake Wilson, Reporter

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Jake Wilson

Giving people privileges – such as driving, drinking, and compulsory education – is currently based on age ranges. For example, adolescents in Missouri can begin driving at age 15, well before they have matured. Government agencies should not make rules by chronological age, but by maturity age.

First, age is not an accurate indication of maturity and neurological development. According to scientists, the prefrontal cortex, which controls impulses and decision-making, is the last to mature. For instance, the impact of drug use, juvenile delinquency, texting and driving, and unprotected sexual intercourse can be catastrophic.

Also, some age guidelines are not appropriate to the activity. Drinking, especially, should not be legal for 21-year-olds. The brain has not finished developing at this age; it is not fully developed until 23-25 years of age.

It’s time we use facts and not tradition to make serious decisions about how old people should be do have certain privileges. Government representatives need to study the science of brain development.

 

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