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5 Facts About the Minimum Drinking Age

For people born after 1984, it probably never crossed their minds that the drinking age was ever under 21 in the US. That year, the Reagan administration passed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act that raised the minimum drinking age from 18 to 21.

  • The act did not make consumption during a religious event illegal (for example, during communion).

  • Keep in mind that the law only prohibited the purchase and public possession of alcohol of people under 21. Individual states have their own consumption laws. For example, In Texas, people under 21 can drink alcohol as long as they are under the supervision of a parent.

  • The US is only one of four other developed countries in the world that have a minimum drinking age over 18. The other countries are Iceland (20 years old), Japan (20 years old) and South Korea (19 years old).

  • If a state has a minimum drinking age below 21, they are subject to lose 10% of their annual highway budget under the Federal Aid Highway Act. The minimum drinking age in Puerto Rico is still 18, despite their loss of highway funding. The US side of the Virgin Islands is 21, while the British side is 18 years.

  • The first minimum legal drinking age in the US was established in 1933 after the end of prohibition. At first, it was 21 years of age, but was lowered in different states to 18, 19, or 20 years after the minimum voting age was lowered to 18 years once the 26th amendments was passed in the 1970s.

If you or a loved one has been charged with an alcohol-related crime, you need a strong legal team. Contact Carroll Troberman, PLLC today for a free consultation.