The best venue for experimentation, innovation, and critical evaluation of the proposed program is at the state level; however, the National Minimum Drinking Age Act ties states to a minimum drinking age of 21 in order to avoid a 10% reduction in a state’s federal highway appropriation. Choose Responsibility believes federal legislation should not penalize states who choose to participate in a pilot alcohol education program based on a minimum drinking age of 18. Thus, it is our belief that:
- States that present a plan for educating and licensing young adults that can maintain low levels of fatalities while lowering the drinking age ought to be granted a waiver of the 10% reduction penalty for a minimum of five years.
- States should create a mechanism to collect relevant data required to monitor the effects of the change in law.
- States should submit these statistics to Congress (or its designate), along with an analysis of the effects of the waiver from its inception, and may or may not request either an extension of the waiver.
- Individual state proposals must include the guidelines for eligibility and suspension of licenses proposed in the model program.