PUERTO RICO: Bid to raise drinking age to 21 - report
A Puerto Rico politician is pushing for the country to raise its legal drinking age to 21, according to reports.
Democrat Carlos Vargas proposed a law last week to increase the minimum age to consume and buy alcohol from 18 to tackle drink-related problems among the island's young people, the website Carribean Business reported. Puerto Rico also receives 10% less federal funds for highway security as a result of having a lower legal drinking age, Vargas highlighted.
Puerto Rico, an unincorporated territory of the US, gets around US$120m annually in federal transportation funding, but loses about $11m a year for having a legal drinking age of 18.
The money is held back due to the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984, which pressured several states into raising their drinking ages. Louisiana was the last holdout state, finally raising its minimum age in 1996.
The US Virgin Islands is the only other US territory where the legal alcohol purchase age is 18, as opposed to 21 across the rest of the US.
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