BY: Citizens Count
Rep. Dan Hynes is sponsoring a 2018 bill to lower the drinking age to twenty years-old.
Like all other states, New Hampshire allows adults to legally consume alcohol at age twenty-one. Unlike some other states, New Hampshire does not have any exceptions to allow younger adults to consume alcohol at home or in the presence of a parent or guardian.
Arguments for a lower drinking age
Supporters of a lower drinking age point out that younger adults are allowed to vote, join the military, drive a car, and marry. If young adults are mature enough to make these decisions, aren't they mature enough to decide whether or not to have a drink?
Some supporters also argue that because drinking is illegal, young adults seek out alcohol in risky environments, with a higher likelihood of binge drinking, sexual assault, and drunk driving.
Arguments against a lower drinking age
Federal law ties highway funding to a drinking age of twenty-one. According to the Department of Transportation, if New Hampshire lowers the drinking age it will lose $17.4 million in federal funding.
A lower drinking age in New Hampshire might also entice twenty year-olds from neighboring states to cross the border to drink in the Granite State. This creates a safety issue when those intoxicated youth try to drive home.
Do you support a lower drinking age in New Hampshire? Share your opinion in the comments below.