States Weigh In On Lowering The Drinking Age - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


States Weigh In On Lowering The Drinking Age

It has been the rule in every state since 1988--buying and drinking alcohol.  It's only legal if you're 21.  But many people believe different times, and different situations call for a different set of laws. 

"It is ridiculous to me for a young man who has served next to me, on a ship, in harms way, in a war couldn't have a beer here in the United States," said William Law, a retired U.S. Navy chief. As more and more servicemen and women return from the front lines, the issue is getting a lot more attention on the state level.

In Kentucky, Wisconsin and South Carolina, legislation has been introduced which would lower the drinking age to 18 for military personnel.  In Missouri, Minnesota, and South Dakota, lawmakers could potentially lower the drinking age to 18, regardless of whether they serve in the military.

It's a disturbing concept for Vicki Knox with MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), East Texas Region.  "I don't know if that's going to help us at all," she said.  "By lowering the drinking age and having states set their own ages will only exacerbate the problem and kill more young people."

She said it's about public safety--keeping the drinking age at 21 keeps alcohol related accidents down.  Since the age limit was set at 21, fatalities are down 13 percent among 18 to 20-year- old-drivers.

The issue could soon be tackled by lawmakers in the future.  Texas State Senator, Kevin Eltife said he would be open minded about it and would certainly look at any legislation that is filed.  

Until the law changes, the same old rules will still apply--21 is the age.

Layron Livingston, Reporting


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