Hoaxes & Rumors

No, the drinking age wasn’t lowered to 18 on June 4

No, the drinking age wasn’t lowered to 18 on June 4
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A fake news report states that the drinking age was to be lowered to 18 on June 4, 2015.

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Fake News

The false report originated from the website Daily Buzz Live, which is known to produce false, outlandish stories. In the article about the drinking age, we read:

The 1984 National Minimum Drinking Age Act [23 U.S.C 158] which required that States prohibit persons under 21 years of age from purchasing alcohol, as a condition of receiving State highway funds, is being amended.

The article includes screen shots allegedly showing CNN’s Don Lemon discussing the story with a guest, and a headline reading, “Lowering the drinking age to 18 debate,” and a subheading that reads, “Obama signs law lowering drinking age to 18 – Effective June 2015.” The article states that the drinking age was to be lowered on June 4, 2015.

No such law has been signed.

fake cnn drinking age graphic

As stated above, Daily Buzz Live churns out fictional fake news stories, which are often shared by readers who believe these false are real.

Ironically, a viral fake news story circulated in mid-2014 which claimed the drinking age was being raised to the age of 25. That bogus report also used realistic-looking news graphics as “proof.”

fake cnn drinking age graphic

This graphic has been heavily shared on social media.

Drinking Age Debate

Although the story above is fake – and the current drinking age is still 21 in all 50 states – this has not always been the case and there is ongoing debate on the topic. As recently as the 1980’s, the drinking age varied from state to state, with minimum ages of 18, 19, and 20 found around the country. With the passage of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act in 1984, all 50 states slowly implemented a drinking age of 21 over the next several years. Wyoming was the last state to raise the age to 21 in July 1988. While the drinking age is 21 in all 50 states, it is 18 in U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

Groups such as the National Youth Rights Association are seeking to lower the drinking age back to 18. A representative of this group can be seen discussion the issue on FoxNews from this 2008 report.

The drinking age in most countries is 18.

Bottom Line

The drinking age in the United States did not lower to 18 in June 2015. The article and fake graphics making this assertion originate from the fake news website Daily Buzz Live. There are groups which seek to lower the drinking age, but as of 2015 there has been no change for any of the 50 states.

Updated June 5, 2015
Originally published March 2015

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