If you or your teenager is charged with DUI in Orange County, get good legal help fast and contact an experienced Orange County DUI defense lawyer promptly. For most of the 20th century, the drinking age in most states was 21, and it wasn’t controversial. Then, with the Vietnam War, people decided that if you could die for your country at age 18, you should at least be allowed to have a beer. With passage of the Twenty-Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1971, which gave 18-year-olds the right to vote, most states also lowered the drinking age to 18. It wasn’t long until the statistics – and horrible stories about violent crashes – caused lawmakers to reconsider. In 1984, Congress passed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, which required states to raise the drinking age to 21 or lose part of their federal highway funds. By mid-1989, every state and the District of Columbia had raised the drinking age to 21.

Today, Minnesota legislators are considering a proposal that would return the state’s legal drinking age to 18. State Representative Phyllis Kahn is sponsoring a bill that that would allow those over 18 to be served alcohol, but only in bars and restaurants. Those under 21 would still be prevented from buying retail alcohol “to go.” Opponents of the idea are armed with statistics;
Mothers Against Drunk Driving estimates that raising the drinking age to 21 nationally has saved approximately 900 lives per year. If the proposal is adopted, it would become law in Minnesota in August.

Regardless of what happens in Minnesota, it will remain illegal for anyone under 21 to drink and drive – or even just drink – in California. Drivers under 21 in California do not have to be “over the limit” to be charged with DUI in this state, because the limit for them is zero. A blood-alcohol content level of 0.01 percent (as opposed to the adult legal limit of 0.08 percent) is enough to convict an under-21 driver of DUI in California. If you – or your teen – face a DUI charge in Orange County, contact an experienced Orange County DUI defense lawyer immediately.