Dear Dana, why did the drinking age in Vermont change from eighteen to twenty-one?


The “legal drinking age” was an active issue in the Northeast during the 1980s. It was officially in 1986 that Vermont raised its’ drinking age from eighteen to twenty-one. Other states in the region took action a bit quicker however. Massachusetts for instance, changed from eighteen to twenty in 1979, and eventually to twenty-one in 1985. Connecticut also took multiple steps to raise the drinking age; in 1982 it changed from eighteen to nineteen, followed in 1983 from nineteen to twenty, and finally in 1985 did it reach its’ current age of twenty-one.

One reason the drinking age was raised was in hopes of decreasing the number of alcohol related automobile accidents. Also, while the drinking age was eighteen the United States was spending more money on health care, social services, and property damage in comparison to the expenses for these issues currently.

However, there are obvious critics of the new legal drinking age. One argument being, if eighteen is considered an appropriate age to fight for our country, then eighteen year olds should be allowed to consume alcohol. On top of that, some say that if the drinking age was lowered, minors would learn sensible consumption behavior instead of binging irresponsibly.

Finally, critics say that because alcohol is illegal it becomes all the more enticing to abuse. Therefore, if legalized minors they would be less inclined to abuse it as a source of rebellion.

So that’s a quick summary of the recent history of alcohol in Vermont. Unfortunately for those of you under twenty-one, there doesn’t seem to be any real movement to lowering the drinking age. In the meantime, good luck with those fake ID’s.