In a move to curb underage drinking, some Wisconsin lawmakers want to lower the state’s drinking age to 19.
Representatives Adam Jarchow, Cindi Duchow and Rob Swearingen are sponsoring a state bill that would move the drinking age in Wisconsin from 21 to 19.
The drinking age became 21 nationwide in 1984 when the National Minimum Drinking Age Act passed. The act cut highway funds by 10 percent for states who refused to raise the drinking age to 21. Statistics suggest the move may have lowered alcohol-related deaths by as much as 19 percent.
In Wisconsin, however, underage drinking has become a problem that is costing the state money to enforce. The University of Wisconsin Madison has been named a top party school in the nation multiple times by the Princeton Review.
“I think generally speaking, consenting adults should be able to engage in these kind of activities without the government getting in the way,” Representative Jarchow said to WISC TV. “I see no reason why we can send young men and women off to war but they can’t have a beer.”
Jarchow is confident that the legislature will pass the bill without any federal punishment. If it does, that could have implications for the drinking age nationwide.
“Part of the campaign promises that were made by the Republicans in Congress and President Trump was that they were pro-federalism. Meaning they were pro-devolving federal power back to the states,” Jarchow stated.