Drinking age in Louisiana
It didn’t always used to be the case that the minimum drinking age all across the U.S. was 21 years, but that happened because Congress sort of coerced all the states into conforming with their 21-year-old stipulation in the National Minimum Drinking Age Act. Many people considered it a violation of the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and several opponents came out and said that other countries have a lowered drinking age, generally 18, and that it does not match up with the age of majority either, which is 18. It’s unfair, they said, that people can vote and go to war in this country, but they can’t get out there and drink. There’s a sort of discrepancy. That’s part of the reason that several American states are considering lowering the drinking age to 18. However, it’s been a back-burner issue for awhile.
In 1848, the drinking age in Louisiana was 18, and it was raised to 21 in 1987, but it was really 18 until 1995 because of a loophole in the state. The age was raised to 21, and the loophole was closed in 1995. For a short period of time, it was lowered to 18 by the Louisiana Supreme Court, but they reversed their decision, and they brought the drinking age back up to 21 three months later. There are other exceptions in the state still. The drinking age in Louisiana is currently 21.
Louisiana allows minors to drink on premises that don’t sell alcohol as long as they’re in the presence of a parent, and have parental permission. They also allow minors to drink on private premises that don’t sell alcohol even without parental permission. They also allow it for religious reasons and medical purposes. They further allow minors to drink on alcohol-selling premises with parental permission.
However, a minor can enter a bar at 18 years of age in Louisiana. The allowance of minors to drink in alcohol-selling premises is stipulated on the fact that they have to be 18-20 years old, and that they have to be in the presence of a parent.
The state loophole was that, in 1987, minors who were 18, 19, and 20 could have alcohol sold to them, but they couldn’t consume it. So, bartenders could have their bars raided, but the minors would get ticketed, and the bartenders would not get in trouble. In 1996, it was illegal for the bars to sell to them. Some people consider it a form of age discrimination that people who are 18, 19, and 20 can’t consume alcohol, because the age of majority is 18, but the courts are politically correct, and they seem spineless, at least to turn back this tide of popular sentiment against underage drinking and driving. They should either raise the age of majority back up to 21 to do anything adult, like being able to vote or registering for the draft, or they should give the same rights as 21-year-olds have to those that are 18 and above too.