Oklahoma House Bill Delays Legal Drinking On 21st Birthday

Monday, February 20th 2012, 11:27 pm
By: News 9

An Oklahoma lawmaker wants 21-year olds to wait until 7 a.m. after their birthday before taking their first drink.

Representative Cory Williams' effort to stop binge drinking between midnight and 1:30 a.m. when most bars stop serving. The Stillwater lawmaker calls the bill the "Cinderella law," because when the clock strikes midnight, everything changes.

If House Bill 3100 becomes law, the 21-year-old would have to wait, and Williams says delaying the party could save lives.

"Not only are you not trying to condense it, but when you spread it out over a period you are going to have food and water and your body has the opportunity to say enough is enough," Williams said.

The proposal is naturally getting mixed reviews.

"Every weekend, every day, people come in and it's 11 o'clock, and they say ‘I turn 21 in one hour so can I come in and drink?' And we say yeah," said Greg Powell of TapWerks.

Williams knows it won't solve binging problems.

"It is going to stop them from drinking, absolutely not, might it keep some alive? I hope so. I don't think it is the game changer ultimately we would like people to exercise personal responsibility," Williams said.

More than 50,000 cases of alcohol poisoning are reported in the United States every year.

Texas is considering a similar law.