Task 2 Essay: Crime and Alcohol
Question: Many crimes are related to the consumption of alcohol. Some people think that the best way to reduce the crime rate is to ban alcohol. Do you think this is an effective measure against crime? What other solutions can you suggest?
Band 8+ Sample Answer:
(Intro) Many experts agree that alcohol causes an increase in crime, and therefore argue that banning alcohol is an optimal solution for diminishing crime. However I believe that it is almost impossible to eliminate alcohol completely and it’s more effective if we increase both punishments for alcohol-related crimes and the legal age for drinking.
(Body 1) Those that advocate banning alcohol claim that no alcohol-related crimes would ever exist if alcohol itself didn’t exist. While this is clearly true, I believe it is unrealistic to attempt to eliminate something that has remained for over a millennium. This is due to the fact that as long as black markets appear, people will still be able to purchase alcohol, but with higher prices. Another key component of why this goal is unachievable is that alcohol has long been a symbol of culture. Consider, for example, a Vietnamese wedding ceremony which involves offering wine to the in-laws to express love and respect; Japanese men tend to drink beer after work as a way to lessen their stress.
(Body 2) If the aim of banning alcohol is unreachable, lawmakers should encourage citizens to be smart drinkers by increasing punishments and the legal age for drinking. The more people are aware of the punishments they might get, the less they likely to commit crimes. Another effective solution is limiting the age that an individual could drink because according to recent research, alcohol-related crime has increased among adolescents. A good example of this is in Sweden, which has very tight laws regarding alcohol and a subsequent low rate of related crime.
(Conclusion) To sum up, the idea of putting an end to alcohol is not achievable or culturally appropriate. Instead, the government should encourage more sensible drinking habits through adopting tighter laws. Alcohol has become a fundamental part of our lives but we need to ensure it’s risks are minimised. (308 words).
Words: Nick Kemp, former IELTS examiner.
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