Drinking age in South Dakota
It wasn’t since Prohibition that the nation had seen such a draconian law against alcohol possession and purchase as the National Minimum Drinking Age Act put forth. There were several laws in place in the 50 states that stipulated certain exceptions for the drinking age. Furthermore, before the passage of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, many of the states had much lower ages for the public possession and purchase of alcohol. Some of them made the drinking ages match the age of majority, which was 18 at the time.
However, many of the states were pretty irate that they were being asked to change their public possession and purchase age at 21. Many of the states had their own public possession and purchase ages which were working just fine for them. However, the states would get 10% of their federal highway construction funds withheld if they didn’t comply with the law.
There were lots of the people in the various states who protested against the law, but to no avail. There were a lot of people who were mad at how the law was passed, whether or not they agreed with what it did. Several of the states were rankled that they had to change their drinking laws when what they had was working just fine for them. However, the national outcry against drunk driving fatalities was so strong that the different states chose to outlaw the public possession and purchase of alcohol unless the person was 21 years of age or older. That law has stayed in place ever since it was passed in 1984. It was a big law, and there really wasn’t a law of that sort since Prohibition was passed in 1919. It was a big step forward in curbing drinking and driving, although a lot of people questioned if the law was right or not.
There was no known drinking age in South Dakota before the passage of Prohibition, but it was raised to 21 for all in 1934, and it was lowered to 18 in 1939. It was raised to 19 a little later on. It was lowered to 18 in 1972 with the passage of the 26th Amendment. It was raised to 19 in 1984, raised to 21 for all the people in 1988. It has remained 21 ever since the passage of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act. South Dakota allows underage drinking for religious purposes.
South Dakota has had a detailed history as far as its legal drinking age. It used to be a lot lower before the passage of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act. It seems like South Dakota would have had very high drinking ages because of their religious sentiments, but it seemed that they actually had a history that was very lenient as far as legal drinking ages went. It was just the National Minimum Drinking Age Act that got all the states to sign on to a much higher drinking age, or else lose 10% of their federal highway construction funds.