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Louisiana senator wants to lower the legal drinking age

Says it could help protect teens

LOUISIANA - (04/05/18) Sen. Eric LaFleur wants to extend the drinking age law to include 19 and 20-year-olds.

 "It's a forbidden fruit so typically with forbidden fruit, people don't act as responsibly. They seem to over consume or over indulge. I think we are leaving behind a large segment of the population that is currently drinking," the senator said.

Sen. LaFleur said his bill addresses the elephant in the room. It bridges the gap for those 19 to 20 year olds that are already drinking. It holds them accountable and allows them to drink responsibly.

LaFleur's bill would increase the fines linked to drinking and driving as well as provide more regulations. "If you're going to drink responsibly we want you to be able to demonstrate that you're willing to do that by assuming greater penalties to have that privilege," Sen. LaFleur said.

Some people in the community are not so sure about the idea. "As a mom I just think their little brains aren't developed yet they need to be 21," said local resident Kasey Chele.

"I feel like even adults my age are not responsible enough so how can someone so young, possibly even still be in high school, be responsible enough," said another resident Courtney Nesminger. 

Sen. Lafeur believes that his bill can help protect 19 to 20-year-olds from issues associated with drinking. There were some people that did agree with him but didn't want to be filmed. However, there are still others that challenge that theory.

"Kids shouldn't be allowed to drink because of the maturity of the brain. When you start to ingest those types of chemicals in alcohol, some kids are not mature enough to handle the effects of it," said local resident Sammie Crawford.

So for now the bill is on the shelf. Sen. LaFleur said he will put the bill out again once it addresses every part of the law including the risk of losing federal highway money. 

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