Recently, a committee of the Vermont State Senate approved Democratic Senator Hinda Miller’s bill to have a task force weigh the pros and cons of lowering the legal age of drinking, back to 18. The logic behind this is similar to the concept of having your underage kids have sex in your home. Parents think that “they’re going to do it anyway, so we might as well make it comfortable and convenient for them!”
On the other side, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) calls this “folly to even consider.” They say that the higher age limit has saved thousands of lives since the National Minimum Drinking Age Act was passed in 1984. The act required states to raise the drinking age to 21 or risk losing federal transportation funding.
Vermont voted to raise the age in 1985, and, according to the Vermont State Police, there’s been a 40 percent decrease in alcohol-related fatalities in the last 20 years. Vermont stands to lose about $17 million per year in highway funding if they flout the Feds and lower the drinking age.
“The facts speak for themselves,” said William Goggins, Director of Education and Enforcement for the state Liquor Control Board. “To me, saving lives is the grandest argument of all.”
Obviously, this argument is not good enough for some Democrats in Vermont.