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The Florida Bar

Responsible Consumption of Alcohol and Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

In recent years, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and other interest groups have waged wars not only on drunk driving/DUI, says Broward DUI attorney William Moore, but also on the consumption of alcohol more generally. In particular, the group (not surprisingly, as it is largely composed of parents) has taken a stand against underage drinking and, of course, underage of “baby” DUI, which in Florida requires only a blood or breath alcohol concentration of 0.02 percent in order to prove the crime.

Nationally, Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney William Moore says that many people have called for reform of the legal age to consume alcohol. In most states, the legal drinking age was 18 years, at least until laws changed across the country in the 1980s and 1990s. Now, Broward DUI Lawyer William Moore says that the legal drinking age is 21 in every state.

The United States is almost completely alone in the world at setting the legal drinking age so high and there are many advocates both for and against the relatively high age. After all, those against it sometimes argue, a young person can smoke and buy cigarettes, fight for his country in the armed forces (and even be drafter per the Selective Service), and perhaps most compellingly, take the vows of matrimony upon reaching his 18th birthday in any state in this country. And yet, after completing basic training or a hard day at work or even just at a frat party, he cannot legally consume a beer.

On the other hand, there a lot of people who support the current drinking age, and particularly due to its perceived impact on DUI and drunk driving-related fatalities. They argue that binge-drinking is increasingly common, even among young women (which is a relatively new phenomenon, at least in its more widespread current state), and that lowering the drinking age would only condone youthful drinking and make alcohol and a partying lifestyle more accessible to impressionable young people under the age of 21. They also believe that the higher legal drinking age saves lives because they contend that there are fewer intoxicated people under the age of 21 on the public roads.

One possible compromise might be a drinking age of 19, like Canada has, or a split age law, as is popular in many European countries. For example, a teenager might be permitted to consume lower-proof alcoholic beverages such as beer and wine with parents or when ordering a meal at the age of 16, but would be unable to purchase “hard” liquor until age 18, 19, or even older. Proponents of this kind of system argue that teenagers would be in a position to learn responsible drinking habits from and with their parents – instead of at parties with their binge-drinking friends at that age or a few years down the road.

Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney William Moore is an excellent DUI lawyer in Broward County. If you have been arrested for a DUI, call Fort Lauderdale DUI Lawyer William Moore, P.A.

This article should be used for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice nor as implied representation of any person.

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