ILLINOIS — Young adults could soon be able to order alcohol at restaurants around the state. Thanks to a new bill, people as young as 18 could be served wine or beer with a parent’s permission.
Lawmakers who proposed the bill say they feel this type of change would be harmless since it’s still the parent’s decision.
“You know, it’s okay to sit down and have a beer with my dad or have a cup of wine with my mom and sit down and have family time,” says University of Illinois Springfield senior Malcolm Bennett.
This new bill could make this type of family time possible outside the home.
“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,” says Sociology Lecturer Tiffani Saunders. She researches family structure and behavior at University of Illinois-Springfield.
She’s worried this legislation enables young adults to start bad habits sooner.
“If you do have a family member who’s an alcoholic, in general, we do question your judgment, so having that same family member, parent, for example, be the one who can say, ‘Yes, you’re allowed to drink,’ that could be problematic.”
She says young adults should be steered away, not towards, alcohol.
“People are still developing until the age of 25, which is why we like to delay alcohol as much as we can.”
Many argue normalizing underage drinking leads to healthier usage in the future.
“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,” says UIS freshman Alyssa McDonald.
“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,” says UIS freshman Austin Bransky.
The bill would only allow young adults to be served beer and wine while with parents, so no hard liquor.
There are 10 states that have this law. Those include: Connecticut, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nevada, Ohio, Texas, Wisconsin and Wyoming.