Drinking age in Arizona
With the passing of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act in 1983, every state had to have a legal alcohol consumption and purchase age of 21 and up. That was pretty hard news to hear for so many high school students and college students out in Arizona, but it was the law of the land, and it remains the law of the land to this day. The United States has a haphazard history as far as alcohol laws have gone. All the states have had different laws, and there has been no uniformity in between them. The only time that changed, however, was during Prohibition, and then with the passage of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act. After that point, the drinking age in Arizona remained at 21. However, before that, all states had different drinking ages.
Arizona has certain stipulations that allow for underage drinking under certain circumstances. Now, they don’t allow it for minors who have parental consent to drink, but they do have it for religious purposes and medical purposes. That means that underage people can drink if they have a religious or medical need too. So, for example, if there’s communion, or if there’s some other event that requires drinking of alcohol, like a ritual, then drinking is allowed. Or, if there’s some exigent medical need, like alcohol needs to be used as a rudimentary painkiller, when nothing else is available, then it’s allowed. It’s only allowed under the more dire, or sacred, of circumstances, basically. It’s a little weird that Arizona doesn’t have a stipulation that you can drink if you have consent from a parent. There are some states that let you drink when you have parental consent, for example, Texas.
What about the history of the drinking age laws in Arizona? Prior to 1919, when Prohibition was passed, there was no known drinking age. After Prohibition, in 1933, the drinking age was changed to 21. It was then lowered to 19 in 1972, with the passage of the 26th Amendment. It was a very reasonable age to have drinking at age 19. It was then raised to 21 in 1985 to conform to the National Minimum Drinking Age Act. However, it wasn’t until later on that people started to get really angry that the drinking age wasn’t the same age as when people can go to war or vote. There should be a kind of equivalency between these two ages. However, it has long been a subject of contention in this country that these ages were not, in fact, the same. It’s hard for people to deal with the fact that people in other countries, most other Western nations in fact, when they’re 18 and older, and you’re not allowed to drink when you’re 18 in America. It’s kind of a weird fact of life, but it was because of all the drunk driving fatalities that the age of consumption and purchase was changed.
Nowadays, it’s still 21, and it looks like it’s going to remain that way for a long time.