A new bill proposed in Louisiana is shaking and stirring state policymakers.
HB 429, a bill proposed by Louisiana Sen. Eric LaFleur, D-Ville Platte, would allow adults aged 19 and 20 to legally purchase and consume alcohol with an earned certificate.
The bill is part of LaFleur’s efforts to lower the drinking age, an issue he feels strongly about. In fact, he thinks 18-year-olds should be able to drink, too.
“It just doesn’t make any sense for people to be going to bars and getting drinks from older guys and having to patrol and regulate that,” LaFleur said in an interview. “It just doesn’t work, and everyone knows it doesn’t work. So why do we bury our head in the sand and say it works?”
While others are pushing for stricter drinking laws in Louisiana following the death of a college student who was hazed at a fraternity party and “forced to drink more than six times the legal alcohol limit,” WWL-TV, a local CBS affiliate, reported, LaFleur believes allowing younger adults to drink will lessen the dangers of “private” drinking by bringing more young adults into the public to drink at bars and restaurants, where they will consume alcohol more responsibly.
“I don’t know why if people need to go drink, why you would not want them to drink in a public setting where you’re subject to criticism and the rules of the restaurant and bar,” LaFleur said.
To obtain the certificate, called the Louisiana Alcohol Consumption Certificate, individuals would have to complete an alcohol education course “in hopes of curbing abuse among recipients,” the report said.
The bill, originally scheduled to be heard Tuesday, has been postponed to be heard next week.