Drinking age in Connecticut
Connecticut is very liberal in the exceptions it makes to the national consumption and purchase age of 21, instituted by the National Minimum Drinking Age Act. Connecticut has gone a far way in making itself a beacon of liberal dialogue and thought on the subject of underage drinking. It’s legislators exercise good jurisprudence and show themselves to be wise in making certain, specific exceptions to the underage drinking age. For example, there is drinking allowed on the premises of non alcohol-selling establishments, with a parent’s permission. There is also drinking for medical and religious purposes. There is even drinking on alcohol-selling premises with parental consent.
Even though underage consumption of alcohol isn’t expressly barred by law, underage possession of alcohol is against the law. Consumption and possession are closely connected, however, and it’s difficult to have one without the other.
A minor is allowed to have alcohol only when he’s accompanied by a parent, spouse of the parent, or guardian, who has reached the age of 21.
The National Minimum Drinking Age Act pretty much barred anyone who wasn’t 21 from consuming or drinking alcohol at all.
There was no known drinking age prior to 1919, but the drinking age was raised to 21 after Prohibition. After the passage of the 26th Amendment in 1971, it was lowered to 18 in 1972. Connecticut has always had very liberal laws about drinking. 18 was kind of a low age, even by other states’ standards. For example, some states had it lowered to 19. The age was raised to 19 in 1982, 20 in 1983, and 21 in 1985. The age just kept on going up. That was mostly in response to national pressure, and that was just the way that the alcohol and underage drinking sentiment was at that time. There was a lot of momentum and mood in the country at that time to push the drinking age higher so that there would be less drunk driving fatalities. It might have actually worked. The age was 21 into the 21st century, and that’s how it remained.
A lot of people are furious that the age when someone can vote and go to war is not the same as the age when someone can drink. In other countries, they reason, the age of consumption and possession is just 18. However, it’s not that set-up in the United States. There aren’t even different ages when you can purchase different kinds of alcohol. It’s kind of a bogus system that requires drinking ages to be the same across all types of alcohol and in all states. It’s not really fair to the states who are better at coming up with their own laws regarding the age when minors should be allowed to drink or purchase alcohol. Plus, there are vast differences between beer and liquor, for instance, and it’s not the same all-around. A lot of people questioned the government’s coercion in trying to make the states change their drinking laws based on the federal government withholding money for highway construction funds.