Illinois bill would lower drinking age with parent’s consent

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A new proposal could lower the state’s drinking age under certain conditions.

The bill would allow people as young as 18 to be served beer or wine at restaurants, with their parent’s permission.

Hard liquor would still be prohibited.

Ten states already have this law: Connecticut, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nevada, Ohio, Texas, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Supporters say the proposal is harmless since it’s the parent who is still making the decision.

“The normalizing of parental consent for 18- and 20-year olds, to me, that’s the part that’s making me raise the most eyebrow,” says University of Illinois – Springfield Sociology Lecturer Tiffani Saunders. “People are still developing until the age of 25, which is why we like to delay alcohol as much as we can.”

“If you do have a family member who’s an alcoholic, in general, we do question your judgment, so having that same family member, parent, for example, be the one who can say, ‘Yes, you’re allowed to drink,’ that could be problematic,” said Saunders.

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