Republican Colorado Sen. Greg Brophy wants to let parents buy their kids a cold beer, a glass of wine or a bourbon on the rocks when they go out for a family dinner — as long as the children are 18 or older.
His bill in the state legislature would exempt people 18 and older from the 21-year-old minimum drinking age at bars, taverns and restaurants if they are 18 years old and accompanied by a parent.
The idea for the bill, Brophy said, came when he took his then-20-year-old daughter out for a birthday celebration and realized he couldn’t buy her a glass of wine to toast the occasion.
Under an obscure Colorado law, parents can legally serve alcohol to their kids at any time before they turn legal drinking age, as long as they’re at home.
Brophy said it struck him as “stupid” that he couldn’t extend that supervisory role outside the home.
Exempting certain people from the 21-and-older drinking age under certain circumstances isn’t a new idea. Forty states have some exemptions on the books — such as for religious ceremonies — and nine states let kids who are at least 18 belly up to the bar with their mom or dad.
Brophy floated the idea on Twitter and Facebook to see what the response would be like, and it was good enough that he drafted the bill. He said response from his fellow lawmakers has been encouraging.
“I still haven’t run into a legislator who doesn’t like the idea,” he said.
However, Senate President John Morse, a Democrat, assigned the bill to the State Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, largely considered to be a graveyard for bills deemed unpopular by the majority.
If the bill dies in committee, there’s at least some silver lining: Brophy’s daughter is now 21, and they can toast its demise together.
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