Legal news for Vermont government attorneys. Vermont is debating whether to lower the legal drinking age from 21 to 18.
Government lawyers alerts- Vermont is discussing whether or not to lower the legal drinking age.
Montpelier, VT—The state of Vermont is considering a pair of bills that would lower the legal drinking age from 21 to 18, and would ask the state’s congressional delegation to urge Congress to authorize waivers to states, which would not punish them by withholding much needed funding. A 1984 enactment of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act required U.S. states to make the legal drinking age to 21 or face the risk of losing federal transportation money, as reported by Fox News.
Under the terms of the current law, any states that do not keep the legal drinking age at 21, run of risk of loosing 10 percent of their annual federal transportation funding. Advocates for lowering the legal drinking age claim the higher drinking age “encourages unsafe drinking by driving young people into locked dorm rooms, off-campus apartments and farm fields to do their consuming.” Research has showed that a higher drinking age has not affected the amount of consumption by college students, but has curbed drinking by teenagers. It has also been argued that “barring young people from drinking through their teenage years and then allowing them to do so at 21 is like not training a young person how to drive a car then giving them the keys once they’re old enough, without training.”
Opponents against lowering the drinking age state that “young people who start drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to become alcohol-dependent as adults than those who wait till they’re 21.” Scientists have discovered that the “part of the bran that exercises judgment develops substantially later than the part that seeks out reward and risk,” which poses a danger to drinking teenagers.
Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for Vermont government lawyers.