Kevin Kadlec


This Note will examine the federal interest as it conflicts with the states' interest in setting their own drinking ages, which are derived from section two of the twenty-first amendment and the tenth amendment, respectively. This conflict is given sharper focus when examined in the context of Supreme Court tests and balancing measures developed in recent decades in these constitutional arenas. A controversy has arisen because of the congressional imposition of a national minimum drinking age on the states through coercive withholding of federal funds. It is the purpose of this Note to examine the controversy created by the Drinking Age Act. The presentation will begin with a background and history of the drinking age legislation and a closer examination of the promulgation of the law. This will be followed by a discussion of the debate over the need for such a measure, examining factual studies, public sentiment and the arguments pro and con. The focus will then shift to an examination of the constitutional considerations of the Drinking Age Act. Finally, the conclusion reached herein is that the Drinking Age Act is constitutional and the body of this article is devoted to the assertion of that proposition.