Legal Drinking Age Day Date in the current year: July 21, 2024

Legal Drinking Age Day Legal Drinking Age Day is observed in the United States on July 21. It was created to raise awareness of the benefits of the minimum legal drinking age of 21 and encourage people to drink responsibly.

The legal drinking age is the minimum age at which a person can legally consume alcoholic beverages. In most countries, the legal drinking age is the same as the legal purchase age. However, there are countries where persons below the legal purchase age are allowed to consume alcohol under the supervision of an adult.

In most countries of the world, the minimum legal drinking/purchase age is 18. The United States is one of the most notable exceptions: in most of the country, except for the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, the minimum legal purchase age is 21. The history of the legal drinking age laws in the United States can be traced to Prohibition, Following the ratification of the 21st Amendment and the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, all states adopted minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) policies; most opted for an MLDA of 21.

In 1971, the Congress passed the 26th Amendment, lowering the required voting age from 21 to 18. This led to 29 states lowering their MLDA from 21 to 18 during the first half of the 1970s, following the logic that if one is allowed to vote, one should also be able to legally drink alcohol.

However, these changes resulted in an increase in road accident fatalities. In response to studies linking these fatalities to the decreased MLDA, many states raised their MLDA to 19, 20 or even 21. In 1984, the Congress passed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act that set the minimum legal purchase age at 21 in all states. According to CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the National Minimum Drinking Age Act 1984 has resulted in a decline in motor vehicle crashes and a decline of drinking among young adults aged 18 to 25, i.e. both below and above the MLDA.

Despite its name, the National Minimum Drinking Age Act only prohibits the purchase and public possession of alcoholic beverages by those under 21. Laws and regulations regarding the consumption of alcohol by persons under 21 years vary by state. Some states impose no restrictions on private consumption, some allow it only in specific locations under supervision of family members, and some have outright banned it.

The origins of Legal Drinking Age Day are unclear, but its date is probably a reference to the minimum legal drinking age of 21 in the United States. Interestingly, it is also the birthday of Ernest Hemingway, an American novelist known not only for his great works, but also for his drinking prowess.

You can celebrate Legal Drinking Age Day by learning about the legal drinking age in different countries, sharing your memories about your first (legal!) drink on social media, toasting to Hemingway’s birthday with a Hemingway special (a variation of the daiquiri made with rum, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and maraschino liqueur), teaching your children about responsible drinking, and spreading the word about the day with the hashtag #LegalDrinkingAgeDay.

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Legal Drinking Age Day, observances in the US, unofficial holidays, minimum legal drinking age, minimum legal purchase age