Old Enough To Fight and Maybe Die - Old Enough To Drink?
If you're old enough to fight and die for your country, you're old enough to buy a beer – that's the idea put forth anyway, by South Caroline State Legislator Fletcher Smith.
Smith contends that disallowing soldiers to buy beer while asking them to fight for their country is an absurdity, and that since army training has a real maturing influence on a person, soldiers therefore have the maturity to buy and drink alcohol, responsibly.
Although were South Carolina to amend their minimum drinking age to allow soldiers to drink in the state they would be at risk of losing hundreds of millions of dollars of federal highway grants, at least one other state lawmaker supports the proposed bill. Rep. Grady Brown, who served in the State Air Guard, concurs with Smith's line of reasoning, and has pledged his support.
Critics call the bill very unlikely to go anywhere, and comment that moves to reduce restrictions on alcohol are in stark contrast to military efforts towards a minimization of use, and towards responsible use at all time.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving Spokesperson, Juliet Smith, says that although the organization supports the military, they would be against creating additional dangers on the roads, and that although a few other states have proposed similar legislations, these rules changes confront a mountain of data that suggest that it would be harmful.
Currently, South Carolina military bases have a zero tolerance policy towards underage drinking.