Drinking age in North Carolina
The National Minimum Drinking Age Act set the age for public purchase and possession of alcohol in North Carolina at 21. However, that didn’t say anything about the drinking age there. The drinking age was flexible, and it could be set by the states. Each state has their own rules regarding the consumption of alcohol. However, the age for public purchase and possession of alcohol across the United States is firm. Plus, each state has its own unique history of drinking ages. None of the states took the exact same path, even if the shared the same ages at different points, because they all arrived at the ages in different ways. It wasn’t until the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 that most of the states just set their drinking age at 21 too, but many states have exceptions.
However, not all people were happy about the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984. After all, the passage of the 26th Amendment guaranteed voting at age 18, but the drinking age was changed to 21. Several million people thought this was unfair because the age of majority was 18. A lot of people were pretty unhappy with how the law was passed too. The law was that each state would have to change their minimum drinking age to 21, or they would lose 10% of their federal highway construction funds. That was hard for many people to stomach because it seemed like it was coercing the states into doing the bidding of the federal government. This was not a law that met with universal approval in other words. However, there were a lot of people happy with it because of the epidemic of drunk driving fatalities in the United States at that time.
Every state has their own history as far as the legal drinking ages go. North Carolina had no known legal drinking age prior to Prohibition. It was 18 after Prohibition, and it was 18 for beer and wine after the passage of the 26th Amendment, and 21 for liquor. Beer and wine was raised to 19 in 1983, and it was raised to 21 in 1986 after the passage of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act. It has remained 21 ever since.
Underage drinking is legal for religious purposes, medical purposes, and educational purposes. It’s also legal when reporting medical need because of underage drinking for another minor.
Every state has their own laws and rules regarding the underage consumption of alcohol. The several states have made exceptions where they deem it fit that people under a certain age can drink. They think those circumstances, exigencies, and contingencies are occasions where it’s alright for drink. In North Carolina’s case, they’ve made exceptions for religious purposes and medical purposes, and those two things make sense, considering that North Carolina is both a very religious state and a very prudent state, in general. Not all states have those exceptions though, and some states forbid underage alcohol consumption under all different circumstances.