Drinking age in Illinois
The people of Illinois are very liberal in how they treat underage drinking. Even though the National Minimum Drinking Age Act barred the purchase and consumption of alcohol for anyone under the age of 21 years old, there are still exceptions in the various states regarding underage drinking. So, for example, in Illinois, it’s possible to drink on private, non alcohol-selling premises, as long as there is parental consent. There is also drinking for religious purposes.
There was no known legal drinking age before Prohibition. After Prohibition’s repeal, the legal drinking age was changed to 21 for men, and 18 for women. It was raised to 21 for all people in 1961. It was lowered to 19 with the passage of the 26th Amendment in 1973 for beer and wine. It was raised to 21 in 1980. It has remained 21 ever since that time.
The National Minimum Drinking Age Act was a draconian response, carried out in a coercive way, because of how many drunk driving fatalities there were. The government was trying to make a firm response to it, and they did, and now the minimum drinking age is 21 in all the states. That’s just the way it is. It’s the law of the land.
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However, a lot of people are furious that it’s not the age of majority. They think it should be the same age as when people can go to war and vote. Why should it not be? That’s the right age for making big moves in your life. Shouldn’t you be able to drink at that age too? If someone can sign up to go to war for their country, they definitely need to be allowed to drink. It’s only right and fair that people should be allowed to drink if those people are dedicated to doing some very dangerous things for their country, and if they are supposed to have the ability to choose and elect their leaders.
It probably won’t always be the case that people will only be able to drink if they’re 21 years of age or older. There are movements in several states that are aimed at getting that drinking age lowered to the age of majority. That’s what they believe it should be, and they are trying to make it so. It’s actually a relatively small minority that want to keep it at 21. The age was lower in many states before the passage of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act. It’s just not natural not to allow people to drink if they’re out to die for their country, or make the decision to vote on a leader that’s good to them.
There are a lots of people out there who are not going to put up with these draconian laws for very long, and there are some movements afoot to get the talk going again on these issues. If it can be overturned, then people will be able to drink at the same age that they can go to war and vote. That’s just the fair thing to do.