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Underage in the US

Travel Forums General Talk Underage in the US

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1. Posted by Deebo (Budding Member 8 posts) 10y

Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to know if the USA is strict on ID's.
My friend is only 20 but has another ID that she can use that isnt her picture that is 22.. we are going to LA and Las Vegas.

What do u think?

Also whats the exact law ... have heard a few different things .. can u still go into a club underage and just not drink?

2. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 10y

I visited the US when I was 21 - the legal drinking age - and couldn't get into a single bar because I didn't have a driver's licence (my Quebec medicare card wasn't in the "official" ID book). Last year, at 31, I was carded everywhere I went in New Orleans - but at least this time I thought to bring my passport along. They really do card everywhere.

3. Posted by mee (Full Member 138 posts) 10y

that's terrible!

i wanted to visit the us this year, and i'm 'only' 19.

i can't go out there? it may sound a bit extreme, but i'm already used to drinking

here 16 year olds can drink beer, and i'm 19 and can't sit in a bar? it's sad.

4. Posted by Cupcake (Travel Guru 8468 posts) 10y

It varies by state....in some states the legal drinking age is 18 in others 21. Bigger cities tend to card more than smaller towns. The punishment all varies...some places might just take the ID from you...or just send you on your merry way...others might involve the police.
Some states are 'NO one under 21 may enter' and others are anyone over 18 can enter but only over 21 can drink...and still others make anyone under 21 leave by 9pm! You may have to find out about each place your going to go to...Vegas is almost impossible to pull one over on! :(

5. Posted by john7buck (Respected Member 458 posts) 10y

Cupcake, I could be wrong, but I can't think of any state where it is legal to drink at 18 anymore.

Yeah, it's a ridiculous law if you ask me: you can be old enough to get shipped off to a war, but you can't have a beer when and if you make it home??????

Anyway, my advice; bring the fake I.D. If you don't try to fight it getting taken away from a bouncer (if it comes to that) more than likely the police will not be involved. Also, if it is a foreign document, it will be less likely to be recognized as a fake; unless the picture is clearly far off. At all cost, try to avoid having the police involved; that can spell big trouble as they consider it fraud.

I'm not endorsing breaking the law, as whenever you are in a foreign country, you pretty much have to play by their rules, I'm just saying that if you play it smart you might get lucky.

6. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 10y

The National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 required all states to raise their minimum purchase and public possession of alcohol age to 21.

Not all states prohibit the consumption of alcohol by those under 21, but all states are in compliance with the no purchase or public possession portion of the act. Public possession includes drinking in bars and restaurants.

Source:
The National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984

7. Posted by s_hoot (Respected Member 497 posts) 10y

its almost impossible now a days to get drink in US if under 21 as most places you have to get stamps on your hand, coloured wrist bands, and still have your ID checked at bar. I am Texan and went to Arizona few weeks ago, went into a bar to buy a beer, im almost 23, they had to look up my drivers license in a book to see if it was real, copy down my license number in a log book and then made me sign the bloody stupid thing. i had to sign a log book to buy a flippin beer in my own country. if i was a foreigner the only thing they would have accepted was a passport. Bring your passport if you are 21 and want to be able to drink! most places dont accept anything other than US drivers licenses or passports. yeah its ridiculous but thats America for you.

8. Posted by Cupcake (Travel Guru 8468 posts) 10y

Good god man! Where in Arizona did you go??? I live in Tucson...and I know there some dry counties here....but jeeze oh pete! :(
I only know from experience having a bar with my husband for years...pain in the ass.....and the stupid laws that each state has....like in Michigan it is illegal to have lighted beer signs..is that not the stupidest thing you have heard?

9. Posted by Scooby (Budding Member 3 posts) 10y

If a person gets caught selling alcohol of any kind in the US the bar or store can lose their liquor license, and the fines are in the 10's of thousands of dollars,. The police will use underage decoys to try to buy liquor or get in the bar. They have been cracking down very heavy since the late 80's.

10. Posted by Cupcake (Travel Guru 8468 posts) 10y

In Michigan, The first thing they do is fine the person bartending,(who served the minor) then the bar/resturant gets fined or given a warning...on the 3rd offense, you could possibly lose your license. But not bloodly likely..as a liqour license can cost up to 100,000 (or highter depending on where you live.) They don't give them out freely and they rarely take them away.