'It’s bizarre': Wisconsin Republicans want 14-year-olds to be able to serve alcohol
Before President Ronald Reagan signed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 into law, the drinking age varied from state to state in the U.S. Some states allowed minors to legally purchase alcohol at 18, but Reagan and members of Congress agreed that 21 should become the national standard.
What still varies from state to state is how old one needs to be legally serve alcohol. Some states allow minors to serve alcohol in restaurants even though they can't legally purchase it.
The Guardian's Wilfred Chan reports that some GOP lawmakers in Wisconsin favor lowering the age for legally serving alcohol to 14.
"Wisconsin is just one of a growing number of states where predominantly Republican lawmakers are making quiet moves to roll back the alcohol service age, so that kids who can't legally buy alcohol — or in Wisconsin’s case, even drive a car — would be allowed to serve hard drinks to customers at bars and restaurants," Chan reports. "In addition to alleviating the labor shortage, lawmakers behind the bills argue letting kids serve alcohol would give them valuable work experience."
But Democratic Rep. Ryan C. Clancey, who serves in the Wisconsin State Legislature, vehemently opposes the idea.
Clancey told The Guardian, "It's bizarre. I can't believe that we’re even having this conversation."
Meanwhile, in Iowa, Democratic State Rep. Megan Srinivas opposes proposals to lower their age for serving alcohol to 16 or 17.
Srinivas told The Guardian, "There's a reason we've always said minors are at higher risk of assault in certain environments…. When it comes to bars, we've seen the data show over and over again that the presence of alcohol does create risk of sexual assault for all people working in that environment."
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