Should NH allow 20-year-olds to consume alcohol on private property, but not in bars or other public places?

Feb 04, 2018

BY: CCNH-LFDA Highlights

The New Hampshire House is considering a bill that would allow 20-year-olds to drink alcohol, under certain circumstances.

The bill, HB 1753, would allow 20-year-olds to drink on private property, but it would still be illegal to sell alcohol to anyone under age 21. Twenty year-olds would also still be prohibited from drinking in bars and restaurants.

Lower drinking age, less binge drinking?

According to bill sponsor Rep. Dan Hynes, lowering the drinking age will make risky drinking less enticing to young adults.

“With a statute setting it so high, what happens is people binge drink in college. I think we’re actually encouraging binge drinking, I think we’re encouraging alcohol problems. I don’t think there’s any scientific evidence to show that someone who drinks a beer at the age of 20 is going to be harmed any more than someone who drinks a beer at age 21.”

- Rep. Dan Hynes

Other bill supporters argue that if 18-year-olds are old enough to legally buy cigarettes, vote, and join the military, 20-year-olds are certainly mature enough to drink.

Too many risks with 20-year-olds?

Bill opponents point out that New Hampshire would risk losing federal highway funding if it lowers the drinking age.

Other opponents express concern that 20-year-olds from neighboring states would travel over the border to drink, then drive home drunk.

In 2016, the House killed a bill that would have allowed some young adults to consume alcohol under the supervision of a “responsible adult.” Other states allow some underage drinking in the presence of a parent.

Should NH lower the drinking age to 20-years-old at private parties? Share your opinion in the comments below.

Comments

Christine Altan
- Exeter

Fri, 02/16/2018 - 1:18pm

I lived overseas in a country where 18 was the minimum drinking age. This was when I was under the age of 21. I found, as a culture, this was accepted as the norm and didn't create a drinking crisis amongst this age group. It will take time for the culture here, and across the nation, to adapt to this new idea.

I do find that allowing an 18-year old the right to marry, the right to join the military, the right to buy a home, and on and on but not allowing them to buy alcohol makes no sense. For example, if an 18-year old marries a 21-year old and the 21-year old drinks wine with their spouse at their dinner table, does it make sense for this person to be held accountable for this "illegal" act? Kind of sounds silly to me.

If this bill's opponents are concerned about losing funding for the federal highway, I'd suggest the idea of requiring breathalizers to be installed in the vehicles of 16-20-year olds.

If we, as a nation, consider a human being an adult at the age of 18, we should give these adults the right they deserve to buy and drink alcohol.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Log in or register to post comments

RELATED ISSUE

Drinking Age | 5 comment(s)
Should NH lower the drinking age?

RELATED REPRESENTATIVES

Representative, NH House of Representatives (2016 - present); Candidate, NH Senate (2014); Attorney/Lawyer/Chief Executive Officer, Liberty Legal Services; Lawyer and Attorney, Law Offices of Daniel Hynes

Join CCNH-LFDA

Join our constantly growing community. Membership is free and supports our efforts to help NH citizens become informed and engaged. 

JOIN TODAY ▸

©2018 Live Free or Die Alliance | The Live Free or Die Alliance is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.