Minimum Legal Drinking Age Debate

Should young adults members of the United States military forces be permitted to consume alcoholic beverages legally? New Hampshire State Representative Jim Splaine thinks so, and has introduced legislation into the legislature to permit such adults to drink in New Hampshire upon presentation of a valid military ID.

Representative Splaine says that the United States disrespects the young adult men and women in our armed services. “This is not a way to reward or thank the troops” he contends.

Splaine says “I’m asking people to critically think about this issue” and wants them to ”think-tank” the matter. The president of the state chapter of Mothers Against Drunk diving (MADD) says she doesn’t have to think about it and opposes the law as inappropriate.

A Wisconsin law allows any 18-year-old adult, military or non-military, to be served alcohol if the parent is present and the business consents. Splaine’s legislation would permit any military adult to consume alcohol whether or not a parent is present.

Over 20 years ago, Splaine sponsored legislation increasing the drinking age to 21. However, he’s concluded that it was an experiment that has failed.



  • Kenny, Elizabeth. Drinking age debate builds. SeaCoast Online, December 5, 2005; Masker, Amanda. State fights for drinking age change. U-Wire Service, December 6, 2005; Lawmakers debate lowering drinking age for military., January 11, 2006.

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