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Drinking age in Maryland

The National Minimum Drinking Age Act was passed in response to all of the drunk driving fatalities that were occurring with people were 18 to 21 in the country. There was a national outcry to do something about the devastation that drunk driving accidents were causing, and the national law passed in response to a lot of angry parents and alcoholic awareness groups. Nowadays, the law of the land all across America is that you have to be 21 and over to drink. There are no separate purchase and consumption ages. There are not separate ages for beer and wine purchases versus liquor purchases. There is just one age for all circumstances and all types of alcohol.

Some people were justifiably angry that the national government forced the states into voluntarily raising their drinking ages by threatening to withhold 10% of highway construction funds if they did not go along with it. Some people questioned whether or not it was even constitutional to do that. Others questioned the jurisprudence of the law, and whether it was not good that the legal drinking age should be different from the age of majority. The age at which people can vote and go to war should be the same age as when people can drink, most people reasoned. However, it was the national clamor that overtook everything, and it became the law of the land in 1983 that the states had to voluntarily raise their drinking ages to 21, or risk losing 10% of their highway construction funds. All states complied eventually, and the federal government won out.

All states have different drinking laws though. There are different stipulations to the law, and there are special circumstances where it’s alright for minors to drink. Maryland is no different. Let’s explore the state’s drinking laws.

There was no known drinking age in Maryland prior to Prohibition. After Prohibition was repealed, the state drinking age was raised to 21. It was lowered to 18 for beer and wine in 1974. It was raised to 21 for everybody in 1982. It was still 21 into the 21st century because of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, and it looks like it’s going to remain that way.

Maryland allows minors to drink on the premises of non alcohol-selling premises as long as there is parental consent. They also allow drinking for religious purposes. Alcohol is also allowed to be consumed by minors if the person who gives the alcohol to the minor is an adult member of the minor’s immediate family. There are some states that prohibit minors from drinking under any circumstances. It’s not odd that minors are allowed to drink with parental consent and presence. There are a number of states that allow for minors to drink as long as an adult family member provides the alcohol and gives permission.

The National Minimum Drinking Age Act was a big thing for the whole country, and all the 50 states had to eventually abide by the 21-year-old legal drinking age limit. However, all states have their own exceptions.




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