Alcohol slideshow 8

History of U.S. and Illinois Drinking Laws

  • 18th Amendment

    18th Amendment
    United States congress passed the 18th Amendment, which banned the "...manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States..." Source: The Library of Congress
  • Period: to

    Prohibition era

    Prohibition continued until President Roosevelt made an amendment to the Volstead Act allowing for the sale and manufacture of 3.2 percent beer and wine.
  • Cullen-Harris Act

    Cullen-Harris Act
    This act allowed for the sale and manufacturing of 3.2 percent beer and wine. It was signed into law on this day and was intended to help stimulate the economy. Anheuser-Busch alleged delivered beer to the president the next day. Photo: Anheuser-Busch brewery, Source: The Library of Congress
  • 21st Amendment

    21st Amendment
    The 18th Amendment is repealed by the 21st Amendment, allowing for the manufacturing and sale of alcohol. The age of the purchaser would be determined later by individual state laws. Photo: A moonshine distillery that was raided during the prohibition era. Source: The Library of Congress
  • Period: to

    Age of majority

    The legal drinking age, also called the age of majority, was established and held during this period. In Illinois, the age was 21 for men and 18 for women.
  • Equalization

    In a move that was similar to other states, Illinois changed the legal drinking age to 21 for both genders. This would later be adjusted to follow national trends. Photo: A Russan woman hides a flask in her boot. Source: Library of Congress
  • 26th Amendment

    26th Amendment
    With the passage of the 26th Amendment, which lowered the legal voting age from 21 to 18, states began to reassess their minimum drinking age. Thirty states lowered, including Illinois, lowered the drinking age to 18, 19 or 20. Illinois established that 19-year-olds could purchase wine or beer. Source: Lisa Law
  • National Minimum Drinking Age Act

    National Minimum Drinking Age Act
    In order to codify a drinking age among states, Congress passed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act. This law states that one must 21 years old to purchase and possess alcohol. Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Transporting alcohol

    Illinois enacted a law in which the Secretary of State can suspoend the license of anyone under 21 who is convicted of illegally transporting alcohol.
  • Zero tolerance

    The "not a drop" policy signed into law states that it is illegal for anyone under 21 to have a trace of alcohol in their blood, urine or breath.
  • An amendment

    A law was created to amend the Liquor Control Act of 1934. It states that any liquor commisioners have the duty to report convictions to the Secretary of State including selling alcohol to minors.