New Bill Would Allow Underage Drinking on North Dakota Military Bases
There's a new bill on the table in North Dakota that would allow active duty military members ages 18-21 to drink legally on base.
Rep. Andrew Maragos (R-Minot), a Vietnam veteran and the bill's only sponsor, introduced the bill on behalf of an unnamed citizen. If passed, the bill would allow active duty military members between the ages of 18-21 to purchase and consume alcohol on North Dakota military installations if authorized by the base's commanding officer.
The purpose of the legislation would be to help promote "camaraderie and trust" between on-duty service members who "may be relaxing in the evening and discussing that day's work".
Maragos, drawing on his own military experience in Vietnam, says:
If you're in combat, you have to be able to trust and think you know the guy in the foxhole next to you.
Also on behalf of the citizen, Maragos plans to later introduce an amendment which would allow underage on-duty service members to drink off-base as well, though he is not sure if he himself would support the amendment.
Maragos expects that this bill will not be an easy one to pass.
Proponents of the bill bring up the age-old argument - if you're old enough to serve your country, you should be old enough to legally have a drink. However, many argue that 18 is too young, and while the intentions are to promote responsible consumption, it could get out of hand quickly.
Where do you stand?
[SOURCE: Bismarck Tribune]