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Drinking age in South Carolina

So many people were for the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 that it passed, despite protestations to the contrary that raged across the 50 states. There were several states that were adamantly against the law, and they didn’t want it to happen because they were perfectly happy with their public possession and purchase laws. So many people questioned whether the law achieved its results in the right way too.

The federal government threatened to withhold 10% of the federal highway construction funds of any state that didn’t voluntarily raise their public possession and purchase age to 21. All of the states ended up complying, and now you absolutely have to be 21 or up to purchase or publicly possess alcohol in all the 50 states. Note, however, that the law doesn’t specifically address the drinking age. It says that some people can drink under different circumstances. For example, in some states people can drink if they have their parents’ consent, or they can drink for religious purposes, and there are a number of exceptions that are different for all 50 states, although nine states have no exceptions.

At least 40 of the 50 states or so have some exceptions to the 21-year-old drinking age limit. Some of the states have different allowances that allow drinking, like if there are medical needs, governmental needs, or religious needs. All the states are different in their approaches. It’s also interesting to examine the history of the drinking age laws in the various states. All the states had different stages where their drinking ages were different, and, rarely, some of the states’ drinking ages stayed the same throughout the states’ histories. Furthermore, there are some states that totally proscribe drinking when the people are 20 years of age or younger, and there are no exceptions to the rule.

Prior to the passage of Prohibition, the drinking age in South Carolina was at around 21. It was 21 once the repeal of Prohibition happened too. It was 18 for beer and wine thereafter, and it was 21 for liquor after the 26th Amendment passage. For beer and wine, it was raised to 19 in 1984, it was raised to 20 in 1985, and it was raised to 21 in 1986 with the passage of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act. It has remained 21 ever since, like it has in all of the other states. South Carolina allows underage drinking for several purposes. For example, a person can drink with parental consent, for religious purposes, for medical purposes, and for government work-related purposes. Students enrolled in culinary courses can sample, but not imbibe, alcoholic beverages. There is a very strict and clear delineation for allowing alcohol, as long as its private use is in the home with parents’ consent for religious ceremonies. The state has definitely made exceptions that make sense for that state because religious ceremonies are a big part of the lifestyle and culture of the people who live there for sure.

If you’re traveling to South Carolina check out the best bars in Charleston.




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