Age Limitations[1]


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Age Limitations[1]

  1. 1.  Should the legal driving age and the legal drinking age be lowered in New York State?
  2. 2.  There has been a lot of controversy in New York State as to whether or not we should lower the legal drinking age back to 18 like it was up until 1985.  People who support lowering the drinking age advocate that if one is able to vote and fight for their own country at age 18, they should be allowed to consume alcohol as well.  On the other hand, if the drinking age is lowered to 18, that is only a year after a teen can receive their license and that can increase drunk driving which is already unsafe, especially in new, young drivers.
  3. 3.  Many people also are disagreeing over the legal age in New York State, since the legal driving age in a few other states is lower than 17. (Idaho, Montana, Mississippi, New Mexico and South Carolina )  Of course New York is a heavily populated state so when it comes to driving extra caution has to be taken due to the heavy amount of traffic New Yorkers face everyday.  Lowering the driving age would give teens less time to learn how to drive responsibly before getting behind the wheel.
  4. 4.  The federal government doesn’t have a preference or a specific age requirement for driving, therefore the legal driving age differs from state to state.  Although the federal government hasn’t made a specific law stating that the legal drinking age in the U.S. is 21, they would refuse to provide federal highway funding to any state who lowers the legal drinking age because that would presumably cause more drunk driving accidents, resulting in highway damage for that state.
  5. 5.  The legal driving age differs state to state.  Most states have the legal driving age at 16 or 17, but a few states have the legal driving age at 15 or 15 ½ such as Idaho, Montana, Mississippi, New Mexico and South Carolina.  The legal drinking age in New York State is 21, and New York state also has a zero tolerance approach to underage drinking, and underage drinking and driving.  New York state has restrictions on when alcohol can be served, as well as a hosting law which leaves homeowners over 18 subject to arrest if they provide underage minors with alcohol.
  6. 6.  Suffolk County is more lenient when it comes to the hosting law, but Nassau County has no problem locking up an adult if they serve alcohol to underage minors.  Suffolk County may ticket the person or arrest the person, but not actually try to have them face serious jail time.  Both Suffolk County and Nassau County are serious when it comes to drinking and driving and have a lot harsher penalties than many other areas of New York.
  7. 7. Kathleen Rice: Nassau County District Attorney Advocate for death penalty when someone is killed due to a drunk driving accident.