Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Will Saskatchewan Lower the Drinking Age?

In the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, there is now a movement to lower the drinking age from 19 to 18.  In that province, the drinking age was 21 until 1971, when it was lowered to 18, and was raised to 19 in 1976.  (The neighboring provinces of Alberta and Manitoba have had a drinking age of 18 since the early 1970s, as does Quebec.)    It is not clear whether the movement will succeed, but if it does it would certainly be good for our own movement to lower the drinking age to 18 in the USA.  While we think a drinking age of 19 is significantly better than 21, our ultimate goal is to lower the drinking age to 18 across the board.

Speaking of Canada, it appears that Alberta's tough new drunk driving laws are having a positive impact overall.  The early data show that in the first month of the new crackdown, police are finding fewer people driving under the influence.  As for the putative fear of lost liquor sales, many bars and restaurants are responding by offering more food on their menus and encouraging their patrons to eat.  Thus, overall revenues at such establishments do not appear to have been hurt significantly despite patrons being more cautious about mixing alcohol and driving.  We can really learn a lot from our neighbor to the north.

1 comment:

  1. Saskatchewan should lower its drinking age to 18. That province's lowering and raising of the drinking age reflects what happened during some states in the 1970s. In the early 1970s, some states lowered their drinking age to 18 but by 1975 to the late 1970s, the drinking age was sometimes raised to 19. I support the movement in Saskatchewan to lower the drinking age to 18. The age of majority in that western province is also 18. Young women and young men who are 18 are responsible and mature enough to drink alcoholic beverages. It's good that Alberta's drunk driving laws are working well. We can learn from Canada when it comes to laws and rules regarding alcoholic beverages.