FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — Quickly, South Carolinians might not need to be 21 to get pleasure from an grownup beverage, due to a new bill that goals to alter South Carolina’s consuming age from 21 to 18.
The invoice’s sponsor, Home minority chief Todd Rutherford, mentioned he hopes the invoice would get younger individuals began on wholesome consuming habits earlier. He cited low DUI and alcoholism charges in nations with youthful consuming ages as proof that it may result in a greater relationship with alcohol.
“We have to begin issues that we’ve performed just because it’s at all times been the best way it’s been performed,” Rutherford mentioned.
Rutherford mentioned he selected to introduce the invoice this 12 months as a result of it may jeopardize round $38 million price of federal freeway funding.
“South Carolina, based on the BEA estimate yesterday, goes to have round $2 billion to spend in non-recurring funds and $1 billion in recurring funds,” Rutherford mentioned. “We have now extra money than we have now ever had.”
He mentioned apps like Uber and Lyft have made it simpler than ever to keep away from consuming and driving and he needs younger individuals to get used to utilizing them for his or her nights out.
“We have now the science, we have now the expertise,” Rutherford mentioned. “Let’s put it to use and cease infringing on individuals’s private freedoms.”
Francis Marion College freshman Mason Knight is barely 18 years previous, however he mentioned the present legal guidelines haven’t stopped individuals his age from consuming.
“I imply, you’ll be able to nonetheless get your fingers on it if you would like it dangerous sufficient,” Knight mentioned.
He mentioned younger individuals who need to drink simply need to be sneaky as a substitute.
“It’s a must to get it previous authorities and attempt to be secure till you might be of that authorized age,” Knight mentioned.
“We have now turned college-age kids into criminals,” Rutherford mentioned. “They will be part of the navy and go off to conflict, they will join crippling scholar mortgage debt, however not be capable of drink a beer? I believe that’s ridiculous.”
South Carolina’s consuming age was raised to 21 from 18 in 1984. The invoice can be up for debate when the legislature reconvenes in January.