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In 1987 the law was first changed to raise the age to 21 to SELL alcohol to. But, under the Napoleonic Code that rules Louisiana, it still allowed those who were 18 to consume it. Basically, this meant that anyone who was 18 could still drink, and buy...and they did. It was only illegal to sell alcohol to those who were 18 to 20 years old. The double standard allowed a loophole for which no one was ever prosecuted.

It wasn't until 1996, when the Federal Government threatened to withhold money for highway construction that the law was changed and the minimum age was raised to 21 across the board for buying, consuming and selling.

EDIT/IMPROVEMENT ADDED MAY 20, 2010...

The above isn't completely true. What the law did from 1987 to 1996 was make it legal to sell to 18, 19, 20 year old adults but they couldn't legally consume it so that if the police raided a bar, the 18, 19, 20 year old adults would get ticketed, not the bartender/owner. Unfortunately, that was changed in 1996 to make it illegal for the bars to even sell to 18, 19, 20 year old adults. These types of age-discrimination laws should be illegal but the politically correct courts seem to be as spineless as the politicians who write these politically correct laws. Either raise the age of majority back up to 21 for ALL things adult, like registering for the draft and being able to vote, or give the same rights to 18, 19 and 20 year old adults, that every other adult enjoys.

Here's my 1990's blog article that also addresses this topic.

http://lennyvasbinder.blogspot.com/2010/05/new-minority-another-ridiculous.html

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โˆ™ 2010-05-20 15:27:35
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Q: When did Louisiana raise legal drinking age from 18 to 21?
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