Illinois bill could allow younger drinking age with parental permission

SPRINGFIELD (FOX32) - A proposed bill in Illinois could allow young adults starting at 18 to be served beer or wine at restaurants with a parent’s permission.

Lawmakers say this type of change would be harmless since it’s a decision left up to the parents. 

Some, however, worry the potential new legislation could result in bad habits forming sooner for young adults.

Sociology Lecturer Tiffani Saunders, who specialized in family structure and behavior at the University of Illinois-Springfield, told OurQuadCities.com the bill has raised concerns: “The normalizing of parental consent for 18- and 20-year olds, to me, that’s the part that’s making me raise the most eyebrow” she says. “People are still developing until the age of 25, which is why we like to delay alcohol as much as we can.”

Others argue that normalizing underage drinking could lead to healthier usage and habits in the future.

“You kind of have, like a mentor there to make sure you’re okay if you drink too much, so I think it’s just safer.” UIS student Austin Bransky told OurQuadCities.com.

“I think it’s a good way to introduce it to them because it’s better than having them come completely ignorant to college and have them take advice from other individuals,” UIS freshman Alyssa McDonald told OurQuadCities.com.

The proposed bill would allow young adults to be severed beer or wine only with parents, no hard liquor.

There are currently ten states that have this law – Connecticut, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nevada, Ohio, Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

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