It’s legal to serve…

… but not to be served. Given that 18 to 21 year old young adults are most likely to join the military, it seems strange to locate an Army National Guard recruiting station directly next to a liquor store.   But in the not too distant past, sights similar to this were common.

It was the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 that required all states to raise their minimum purchase and public possession of alcohol age to 21. States that did not comply faced a reduction in highway funds under the Federal Highway Aid Act.   An argument that has regained strength since 9/11 is that 18-year-olds who volunteer to fight and die for their country have proven that they are mature enough to drink.

As recently as June of last year, several states were considering lowering the legal drinking age from 21 to 18. Legislation had been introduced in Kentucky, Wisconsin and South Carolina to lower the drinking age for military personnel only. In Missouri, a planned ballot initiative would have lowered the age to 18 for everyone. South Dakota was debating allowing 19- and 20-year-olds to buy low-alcohol beer. Minnesota was considering allowing people ages 18 to 20 to buy alcohol in restaurants and bars not in stores until they are 21.

With changes to the alcohol law (such as Sunday carry-out sales) under consideration here in Indiana, should reducing the legal age also be discussed?

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