Drinking age in Pennsylvania
The National Minimum Drinking Age Act set the public possession and purchase age at 21. However, that didn’t say anything about the drinking age. The different states have all set up their own drinking ages with various exceptions. For example, some states have ok’s when their parents give consent or when it’s for religious purposes. However, there are nine states that don’t allow drinking under any circumstances.
Those states have barred all people under the age of 21 from drinking at all. They were a little bit draconian in their approach, but that’s just the way that some legislatures wanted to do it. However, there were quite a few legislatures that made serious exceptions to the 21-year-old drinking age limit. Some states allowed it for virtually all circumstances for where there was a parent’s consent. Other states allowed it for only medical or governmental purposes.
There were exceptions in all the 50 states because that was the smartest and most reasonable way to handle it. There were lots of different choices made in the 50 states, and each of the states did what they thought was best to target the issue. The original intent of the law was to address the drunk driving fatalities in all the 50 states. States would have lost 10% of their federal highway construction funds if they hadn’t raised their legal public possession and purchase ages. It was a tough thing for people to have to deal with in those 50 states, especially those that wanted to drink who were under the age of 21. After all, the age of majority was 18, and that occurred with the 26th Amendment. That was the age when people could vote, and a lot of people thought it would be right to have the age for public possession and purchase at that age too.
There was no known drinking age prior to the passage of Prohibition in 1919. After that, however, the drinking age was changed to 21, and it has remained at 21 ever since. The only exception the state makes for underage drinking is when reporting medical need because of another minor for underage drinking.
Pennsylvania is one of the most draconian states for underage drinking, and it’s a pretty tough state when it comes to making exceptions or allowances. There are very few states who have such harsh restrictions on underage drinking as Pennsylvania does, but then again, it could be worse, because there are nine states that have completely forbidden underage drinking for all circumstances and all occasions. It’s amazing that there are some states that don’t allow the underage consumption of alcohol at all. There are always legitimate reasons for underage drinking, but some states don’t see it that way. For example, for religious rites of passage or for special dinner parties with parents, and maybe to end binge drinking later on. A lot of people think that by giving a little alcohol in the home, it prevents binge drinking at a later time.
Check out our article on the best bars in philly!