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The Morning Brew: Is 19 too young to drink?

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Is 19 too young to drink?

Taps could be open for 19-year-olds in Wisconsin. 
Taps could be open for 19-year-olds in Wisconsin. 

Wisconsin lawmakers are discussing legislation that would lower the state's legal drinking age from 21 to 19. 

From USA Today:

The proposal comes from Republican Reps. Adam Jarchow, Cindi Duchow and Rob Swearingen, as Madison's WISC-TV reported. Lowering the age could save "countless hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars" spent enforcing drinking laws among young adults, Jarchow said. 

But teens shouldn't head down to the nearest 7-Eleven just yet. There are plenty of hurdles. For starters, Wisconsin could lose federal highway funding if they lower their drinking age. President Reagan signed the Minimum Age Drinking Act in 1984 and included in that law are provisions that tie federal highway funds to a state's legal drinking age. 

Also, MADD has come out strongly against it and the Wisconsin assembly speaker is not on board either. Proponents are leaning heavily on the "you can go off to war at 18 but can't buy a drink" argument and oddly, that it might help curb teenage binge drinking. 

Either way, Wisconsin residents like their brew. A 2015 study found Wisconsin was the hardest drinking state in the union

Canada and the UK: Canada's legal drinking age is 19. Teens as young as 16 can drink legally in pubs in the UK if they are accompanied by an adult, and the legal age is 18. 

Germany:  If accompanied by parents or a legal guardian, 13-year-olds can drink beer or wine. At 16 minors are allowed to drink beer or wine on their own. And at 18, liquor also becomes legal to consume. 

Australia: Lowered its drinking age in the 1970s from 21 to 18. 

France: There is no age of consumption laws, however it is illegal to sell alcohol to those under 18. 


#ICYMI

Richard Browning sets the Guinness World Record for 'the fastest speed in a body-controlled jet engine power suit', at Lagoona Park in Reading, England, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017. A British inventor billed as a real-life version of the superhero Iron Man has hit the fastest speed in a body-controlled jet engine power suit at 32 mph (51 kph) to set a new Guinness world record. The record keeper announced Tuesday’s feat on Thursday as part of its annual Guinness World Records day. (Tim Ireland/PA via AP)
Richard Browning sets the Guinness World Record for 'the fastest speed in a body-controlled jet engine power suit', at Lagoona Park in Reading, England, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017. A British inventor billed as a real-life version of the superhero Iron Man has hit the fastest speed in a body-controlled jet engine power suit at 32 mph (51 kph) to set a new Guinness world record. The record keeper announced Tuesday’s feat on Thursday as part of its annual Guinness World Records day. (Tim Ireland/PA via AP)

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Related Photos
Beer taps at Oak and Oar, 1732 NW 16, in Oklahoma City, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

Beer taps at Oak and Oar, 1732 NW 16, in Oklahoma City, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-b7369bc6f8dc62e6d2a92c056868748b.jpg" alt="Photo - Beer taps at Oak and Oar, 1732 NW 16, in Oklahoma City, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman" title="Beer taps at Oak and Oar, 1732 NW 16, in Oklahoma City, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Beer taps at Oak and Oar, 1732 NW 16, in Oklahoma City, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure>
Matt Patterson

Matt Patterson has been with The Oklahoman since 2006. Prior to joining the news staff in 2010, Patterson worked in The Oklahoman's sports department for five years. He previously worked at The Lawton Constitution and The Edmond Sun.... Read more ›

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