[Vision2020] Booze and Ballots

Sue Hovey suehovey at moscow.com
Tue Sep 15 14:01:51 PDT 2009

The drinking age in Idaho was never 18---19 was the youngest.  I'm pretty 
sure of that because I was teaching in the high school then, and our 
students weren't old enough--even the seniors.

Sue Hovey
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Kenneth Marcy" <kmmos1 at verizon.net>
To: <vision2020 at moscow.com>
Sent: Saturday, September 12, 2009 11:49 AM
Subject: Re: [Vision2020] Booze and Ballots

> On Saturday 12 September 2009 05:45:03 Tom Hansen wrote:
>> Rodna (my wife) attended UI back in '66/'67/'68, back when the drinking
>> age was 18, the voting age was 21, cannabis was the recreational drug of
>> choice, and UI's student body was right around 6,000.  You couldn't drink
>> in the Borah Auditorium, but you could certainly light up (legal or
>> otherwise).
> I seem to remember that the minimum age for purchase of alcohol was 18 
> then,
> too, but, curiously, Wikipedia does not agree.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._history_of_alcohol_minimum_purchase_age_by_state
> Perhaps someone here with better access to research tools for Idaho legal
> history could clear up the discrepancies.
>> College students used to have regular kegger parties out at the Spring
>> Valley Reservoir.  UI made Playboy's "Top Party Schools" list regularly.
>> Moscow cops usually met their DUI quota (if there was such a thing back
>> then) by simply patrolling Highway 8 between Moscow and the Washington
>> stae line at 2 in the morning.  Pullman cops generally exceeded their
>> under-age DUI quota (again . . . if there was such a thing back then) by
>> patrolling the same highway from the state line to Pullman at 2 in the
>> morning.
> Yes, the minimum age in Washington state has been 21 since 1934, just 
> after
> Prohibition was repealed. The difference between Washington's 21 and 
> Idaho's
> 18, coupled with the states' border between Pullman and Moscow, was an
> economic boon for Moscow tavern owners for many years.
>> Generally, the feds provided funds to state governments to maintain US
>> highways within their state IF certain requirements were met.  One of
>> these requirements was to raise the legal drinking age to 21.  For a
>> number of years Idaho refused, but eventually joined in.
> 10 April 1987 was the Idaho effective date for minimum age 21 legal 
> drinking.
> Additionally, since 1994 in Idaho, the minimum acceptable blood alcohol
> content for drivers under age 21 has been 0.02 percent, rather than the 
> 0.08
> percent for those aged 21 and older. This is known as a "zero tolerance" 
> law.
> (The percentage is not 0.00 to allow for test instrument errors.)
> As far as the ballots part of the subject line is concerned, it is worth
> noting that, of those nations where alcohol consumption is legal, the 
> United
> States has the highest legal minimum drinking age, 21 years. Most other
> nations set their minimum drinking age at 18, with a few with lower ages.
> Considering America's continuing car crash carnage, even though alcohol
> related fatalities have dropped nearly half in the last quarter-century, 
> it
> is still amazing that there are so many people who drink and drive. Given 
> our
> technological competence in other areas, it's a sad commentary that we 
> have
> not found ways, and required their use by persons who consume alcoholic
> beverages, to cause a vehicle to refuse to start under the control of 
> someone
> too drunk to operate it safely, regardless of his or her age.
> Ken
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