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State representative pre-files bill to lower S.C. drinking age to 18

Published: Nov. 10, 2021 at 2:43 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) - State Representative Todd Rutherford (D-74) pre-filed a bill Wednesday to lower the minimum legal drinking age in South Carolina to 18.

“This is a personal freedom issue. If you are old enough to fight for our country, if you’re old enough to vote, if you’re old enough to sign on for thousands of dollars of student loans for a college education, then you are old enough to have a drink,” Rutherford said.

Rutherford believes that South Carolina’s fiscal outlook means that the state can adjust the drinking age while improving roads.

“Now is the time to do this. Between the existing state budget surplus, all the money that Joe Biden has sent us, and the economic growth that will come as a result, we can afford to do this. Rather than criminalize adults for doing something that is otherwise legal, we can show the rest of the country that there is a better way.”

The bill will be considered when the General Assembly reconvenes in January.

The drinking age in South Carolina last changed in 1984, when it was raised from 18 to 21 years old amid a move by the federal government to withhold highway funding to states with lower legal drinking ages.

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