The Morning Brew: Is 19 too young to drink?
Is 19 too young to drink?
Wisconsin lawmakers are discussing legislation that would lower the state's legal drinking age from 21 to 19.
The proposal comes from Republican Reps. Adam Jarchow, Cindi Duchow and Rob Swearingen, as Madison's WISC-TV reported. Lowering the age could save "countless hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars" spent enforcing drinking laws among young adults, Jarchow said.
But teens shouldn't head down to the nearest 7-Eleven just yet. There are plenty of hurdles. For starters, Wisconsin could lose federal highway funding if they lower their drinking age. President Reagan signed the Minimum Age Drinking Act in 1984 and included in that law are provisions that tie federal highway funds to a state's legal drinking age.
Also, MADD has come out strongly against it and the Wisconsin assembly speaker is not on board either. Proponents are leaning heavily on the "you can go off to war at 18 but can't buy a drink" argument and oddly, that it might help curb teenage binge drinking.
Either way, Wisconsin residents like their brew. A 2015 study found Wisconsin was the hardest drinking state in the union.
Canada and the UK: Canada's legal drinking age is 19. Teens as young as 16 can drink legally in pubs in the UK if they are accompanied by an adult, and the legal age is 18.
Germany: If accompanied by parents or a legal guardian, 13-year-olds can drink beer or wine. At 16 minors are allowed to drink beer or wine on their own. And at 18, liquor also becomes legal to consume.
Australia: Lowered its drinking age in the 1970s from 21 to 18.
France: There is no age of consumption laws, however it is illegal to sell alcohol to those under 18.