2 bills before the LA Legislature would make alcohol more accessible

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Louisiana lawmakers are considering two different bills that would make alcohol more accessible. One would make it legal for those under 21 to drink, while another would allow booze to be delivered to your door.

Ville Platte Democrat Eric LaFleur is sponsoring legislation that would allow people ages 19 and 20 to buy and drink alcohol without their parents being present. But first they would have to get their parent's consent to take a class about the risks of alcohol.

"We just ignore the fact that population - age group - is actually in restaurants, in bars and drinking," LaFleur told our sister station WAFB.

He says the bill would give training to those under 21 who are likely already drinking.

"You can drink at age 17, 18, 19, 20 with the consent of your parents. The big caveat here is this bill would say you can do it with the permission of your parents," LaFleur told WAFB.

But others, including a Denham Springs High School senior, believe that's a bad idea.

"The research and statistics shows that your brain is really undeveloped until it's well into its twenties. So when you're lowering that drinking age, you're ruining your brain," Grace Stevens, with the group Students Against Destructive Behavior, told WAFB.

Another bill before the Legislature would allow you to have alcohol delivered to your door from your favorite restaurant, bar or liquor store. But, it would have to be in a manufactured sealed container - like a bottle of wine - and not in an open container like an already mixed drink.

The delivery driver would have to be 18 or older and carry a server's permit. A third party or a mobile app would also be able to deliver the booze for the business.

"I think it's great. If you can go to a convenience store or you can go to a restaurant, you can leave with the alcohol as long as you're not drinking it in your car. What's the problem?" said Katie's Restaurant owner Scot Craig.

Craig says if passed, alcohol delivery would be good for business.

"If we could just deliver it and you're drinking it at home, it's not like we're promoting you drink it in your automobile or walk out with an open container, you know, we're delivering it to your home," said Craig. "It increases the sale, why not? I mean, I'm all for it."

The bill to allow those 19 and 20 years old to legally drink will go before a Senate committee Tuesday.

The entire Senate is scheduled to vote on the alcohol delivery bill Tuesday.

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