Legal teen drinking would curb binging, Minn. lawmaker says


State Representative Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, offered up another option to help curb binge drinking: let the kiddies drink.

Kahn's latest proposal in the Minnesota legislature would allow teens as young as 16 or 17 to drink alcohol in controlled environments with their parents to teach them responsible habits, she says.

Would this solve the problem? Critics say no way.

Watch the KARE11 report:


Kahn's plan would legalize teen drinking in some circumstances. The bill would allow 16 and 17-year-olds to drink at restaurants with their parents. It would also permit 18, 19 and 20-year-olds to drink in licensed bars and cafes. People would still have to be 21 to buy alcohol in retail settings.

"It's the thought to get people to drink under a responsible, controlled situation rather than going out in the backyard with their friends," Kahn told KARE. "You gradually get people used to drinking; first with their parents, which has got to be the most controlled situation I can think of."

Julie Zamora of Mothers Against Drunk Driving came out against the bill. "It's ridiculous to allow anyone who's under 21 to be able to drink," she told KARE. "This is not going to solve more problems; it's going to create more problems and casualties."