Drinking age in Montana
Before the passage of Prohibition, and before the passage of the National Minimum Drinking Age, each state used to be able to set their own drinking age laws. After Prohibition was repealed, for example, the states each set their own drinking ages. With the passage of the 26th Amendment, they lowered them too. However, the National Minimum Drinking Age Act was passed in 1983, and it caused all people to have to be 21 to purchase or consume alcohol. There was just one age for purchase and consumption. There were not different ages for beer and wine or liquor either. It was a kind of draconian law in that it stopped everyone from drinking, no matter what, unless they were 21 or older. However, each of the 50 states made stipulations about who could drink and under what circumstances. There were exceptions made for religious, educational, and medical reasons in many states.
Not all states forbade alcohol under all circumstances. Some states made special exceptions. Montana is no different. Each state has their own rules and laws governing the underage consumption of alcohol. However, there is always a national minimum drinking age of 21 in whatever state you’re in. The law applies to all the 50 states. The alcohol laws in the United States have always been volatile, and they are ever-changing. However, it looks like with the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, which was passed in 1983, that it’s going to stay the same age.
There are always possibilities for change, and it’s not entirely impossible that all the 50 states won’t someday lower their drinking ages, or that the states won’t do it one-by-one, but it’s likely that it’s going to stay this way for quite a long time. It’s already been such a long time since the law was passed.
There was no known drinking age in Montana before Prohibition. However, after Prohibition was repealed, the legal drinking age was 21, which was quite high at the time, although several other states made it 21. Many states made it 18 and older though. It was lowered to 20 in 1969, and it was lowered again to 19 in 1972. It was raised to 20 in 1980, and it was raised to 21 in 1985. It remained at 21 into the 21st century, and this was because of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act. States were not determining their own legal minimum drinking age laws anymore.
However, Montana has several exceptions for when an underage person can drink. They allow people to drink when it’s on non alcohol-selling premises, with parental consent. They also allow it for religious and medical purposes. However, the three stipulations only apply to alcohol that’s provided in a quantity that’s not intoxicating. In other words, minors can drink with their parents’ permission, or for religious and medical purposes, but it can’t be intoxicating at all. Montana has some pretty strict laws on underage drinking. Even though they allow it, you are not able to get intoxicated. Minors are not allowed to get drunk.