Drinking age in Arkansas
The drinking age in Arkansas is 21, but did you know that it wasn’t always that way. It used to be that the drinking age was lower. However, with the passage of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, the age was changed to 21. In fact, 21 was always the age for a long time. However, before the passage of Prohibition in 1919, there was probably no real age for purchase or consumption. Arkansas has its own set of values, however. There are a lot of people itching to change the drinking age down to 18, and it’s the same age that people can go to war or vote.
Underage consumption of alcohol in Arkansas is prohibited under all circumstances. Actually, even though underage consumption of alcohol isn’t expressly proscribed by law, underage possession of alcohol is against the law without any exceptions to the general rule. Consumption and possession are closely connected because consumption usually requires possession.
What about the history of alcohol laws in the United States? Well, it’s always been different for all states. States have been generally allowed to make up their own rules on underage alcohol consumption, and the exception was during Prohibition from 1919-1933. However, the National Minimum Drinking Age Act made it the law of the land that the drinking age was changed to 21. That allowed for exceptions to the rule, however. In 1919, there were absolutely no exceptions to the rule. Alcohol was not allowed under any circumstances. That definitely changed when some states started making their own drinking ages after Prohibition was over with. States were definitely given a lot of leeway in determining their own exceptions to the drinking age, on the national level, in their own states.
The National Minimum Drinking Age Act was a bit of a draconian law. Basically, it required that all states raise their drinking age and public purchase age to 21 by October of 1986, or they had to lose 10% of their funds for highways from the federal government. Some people questioned whether the government could make that kind of law. Others were angry that people who were 18, and could go to war and vote, were being prohibited from drinking alcohol.
There are several reasons that the drinking age was raised in the 1980s. One of the main reasons was that the number of drunk driving fatalities was going up rapidly. There needed to be some way to stave off all the deaths that were happening. There was a series of high-profile drunk driving accidents, and the mood and momentum in the country was to change the drinking age to a higher age in the hope that it would prevent less experienced, less mature drivers from drinking and driving. In other countries, however, the consumption and purchase age is much lower, and it’s usually different for different kinds of alcohol. There’s just one age in America, and it applies to all 50 of the states. It’s a bit of bad deal, but that’s the way that the law was written.