Lawmaker proposes lowering New Jersey's drinking age to 18

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey legislator wants to lower New Jersey's drinking age from 21 to 18.

Republican Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll recently introduced the measure, saying it's wrong that an 18-year-old can serve in the military but not be allowed to buy alcohol. The bill seems unlikely to pass, since lowering the drinking age would cost the state millions of dollars in federal highway funds.

Carroll concedes that the loss of federal money has stopped previous efforts to lower the drinking age. But he says "you have to have a line drawn somewhere."

A 1984 federal law calls for cutting highway funding for states that reduce their drinking age below 21. That measure was sponsored by the late Frank Lautenberg, a New Jersey Democrat who backed it in the U.S. Senate.

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