Drinking age in Michigan
Every state used to set their own drinking age. There were vastly different ages across all the 50 states. It was only during Prohibition that alcohol was barred under all circumstances. It was then after Prohibition that the different states set their own drinking ages. Before Prohibition, there were very few known drinking ages. Alcohol was a more natural part of life for people earlier on in our country than it was during Prohibition and afterward. There weren’t such strict laws prohibiting it, except in religious places.
However, in 1983, the country passed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act. This was a law that was passed at the federal level. It had in its wording that all the states had to voluntarily raise their drinking ages to over 21, or they would risk losing 10% of their highway construction funds. That was not a desirable thought to a lot of states, and they all opted to raise their legal drinking age to 21. This age applied to purchasing as well as drinking. Plus, there were not different ages for beer and wine and liquor. It was the same age for all types of alcohol. This isn’t really the case in Europe, where they have much more liberal drinking age laws. Plus, it was not the age of majority in the United States. The age of majority here in the U.S. is 18. That’s the age when people can go to war, smoke cigarettes, be adult film stars, and do just about everything else that folks can do when they reach the age of 18.
Not only was this law unfair for all those reasons listed above, but it was inconsistent with the drinking age laws in most other Western nations, like in Europe. The law was more a draconian response to the drunk driving fatalities in the nation.
There wasn’t a known drinking age before Prohibition. However, after Prohibition was repealed, the drinking age was raised to 21. It was lowered to 18 in 1973 with the passage of the 26th Amendment. It was raised to 19 in 1976. It was the first state to raise the age after lowering it. It was later raised to 21 in 1986. It has remained 21 into the 21st century.
The National Minimum Drinking Age Act pretty much stipulated that all states had to have a minimum purchase and consumption age of 21. However, after that, the different states made up specific exceptions to the rule. Each state has different ideas about how underage minors should be able to drink, and under what circumstances, and some states want to proscribe all minors from drinking, no matter what.
There are a number of different states that have very liberal attitudes toward underage drinking. For example, in some states, a minor can drink if there is parental consent or if the alcohol is furnished by a 21-year-old or older immediate family member. Not all states are as lenient though. Some states proscribe minors from drinking unless its for religious purposes only.