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New Hampshire Drunk Driving: Why Is the Drinking Age 21 in Every State?

Older New Hampshire drivers may remember when the legal age for drinking alcohol was lower than it is today. Between 1971 and 1982, several states lowered the drinking age to include residents as young as 18 years of age.

Today, however, the minimum legal drinking age is 21 in every U.S. state. What happened?

The minimum legal drinking age has a brief but interesting history. In 1984, the U.S. Congress passed the Minimum Legal Drinking Age Act, or the MLDA Act. However, the federal government couldn’t simply require a certain drinking age for all fifty states, because the power to set the minimum legal age for alcohol belonged to each individual state.

Therefore, instead of simply mandating that every U.S. citizen be 21 years old to purchase or drink alcohol, MLDA made a “deal” with the states. If the states raised their minimum legal drinking ages to 21 or higher, they would receive their full share of federal transportation funds. If they left the drinking age below 21, however, they would lose ten percent of their annual funding. Every U.S. state chose to raise the drinking age rather than give up highway funding, and this change was probably for the best.

New Hampshire drivers who are convicted of drunk driving and are under age 21 face severe penalties. Even a minor who is not driving but who chooses to drink may have his or her license suspended or revoked. If you or a loved one is facing New Hampshire drunk driving charges, please don’t hesitate to contact the experienced New Hampshire drunk driving attorneys at Tenn And Tenn, P.A. To learn more about how we can defend your rights, call 1-888-511-1010 today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.