Senator Who Nationalized The Drinking Age At 21 Passes Away

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Nice Move

Pictured: Senator Frank Lautenberg and a Jonas brother discussing how to best restrict sexual intercourse to those over the age of 20.

I’m not here to disrespect the dead, even though I’m sure quite a few commenters will have less than kind things to say about a Democratic Senator from New Jersey whose legislation inhibited their ability to drink and caused a fair portion of their criminal history. Still, Senator Frank R. Lautenberg was the Senate’s oldest member, the last Senator to be a World War II veteran, and a huge proponent of the G.I. Bill, so there’s that. He was 89.

Otherwise, the guy was unsurprisingly liberal, considering he was a northeastern Democrat. Quite a bit of his most famous legislative accomplishments were restrictive in nature, such as the national drinking age requirement, even if some were definitely for the best, like banning smoking on commercial airline flights.

Political alignment aside, the guy was admittedly an adept politician. Technically, keeping the drinking age a state issue by simply threatening to cut 10% of federal highway funds to any state that did not comply with the 21-years-old suggestion was clever, though Lautenberg’s justification for changing the drinking age to 21 across the country is certainly ironic, given his ultimatum.

He argued that the change would save lives by ending “a crazy quilt of drinking ages in neighboring states” and prevent those under 21 from driving over “blood borders” to get drunk and then try to drive home.

I definitely understand his desire to cut down on drunk driving, but you know what else causes deadly car accidents? Shitty roads, which become shitty because there isn’t enough money to repair them. I don’t really care though, because after you turn 21 you immediately stop giving a crap if people younger than you can drink or not. Besides, without Mr. Lautenberg’s legislation I wouldn’t have any sweet jail stories. For that, Senator Lautenberg, I thank you. RIP, sir.

[via The New York Times]

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