clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Illinois Drinking Age Could Lower To 18 Under Parental Supervision

It’s one way to deal with family gatherings

Lawmakers could lower the drinking age in Illinois to 18, with parental permission.

Almost two years after state lawmakers brought back happy hour, Illinois legislators are pondering tinkering with booze laws again. This time they’re considering a bill which would allow 18 year olds to legally drink beer or wine at a restaurant—albeit with parental consent. Lowering the age of consumption from 21 would match similar laws in 10 states, including Wisconsin, Ohio, and Kansas, WGN-TV reported.

Sorry, young Fireball lovers—the bill doesn’t apply to hard liquor or to drinking at bars. Approving parents must be supervising their children, too. The bill could affect family gatherings and perhaps school functions.

Rep. Barbara Wheeler, a Republican from Crystal Lake, and Rep. Kelly Burke, a Democrat from Evergreen Park, introduced the bill to the house earlier back in January. The bill is currently in committee.

To adopt this bill, lawmakers must amend the Liquor Control Act of 1934, which oversees much of state liquor law. They amended the law in 2015 by lifting the 26-year ban on happy hour specials. Looks like someone has persuaded Springfield to be more progressive when it comes to booze laws.

Other states where 18 year olds can drink with parental permission and supervision include Connecticut, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nevada, Texas, and Wyoming. Stay tuned for word on whether Illinois joins them.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater Chicago newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world