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Wisconsin law could lower drinking age of those who pass exam.

Wisconsin law could lower drinking age of those who pass exam

A lawmaker is seeking co-sponsors for a proposal that would allow 19- and 20-years-olds to drink alcohol legally in Wisconsin if they pass a written examination on drinking and driving laws.

Rep. John Medinger (D-La Crosse), said he planned to sponsor such legislation. Under the proposal, those who pass the test would be issued cards allowing them to drink.

The proposal would "provide a viable solution to the controversy surrounding Wisconsin's drinking age," Medinger said.

Medinger's comments were contained in a letter circulated to lawmakers asking for sponsors.

Wisconsin raised the drinking age from 19 to 21 in 1986. Efforts to lower the drinking age to 19 failed in the last session.

Under Medinger's bill, the drinking age would be 21 except for persons who were issued cards by the Department of Public Instruction.

He outlined the proposed bill as follows:

"A person who is 19 years of age and who has graduated from high school or completed an equivalent program may apply for an identification card.

"A person who does not meet the educational requirements may apply for an identification card on or after the July 1 following the 12th anniversary of his or her entry into first grade.

"An applicant must pass a written examination administered by DPI or the Department of Transportation, which includes questions about state laws on possesion and consumption of alcohol beverages; the operation of a motor vehicle and the consumption of alcohol beverages; the prevention and control of alcoholism and the commission of certain crimes while under the influence of alcohol beverages; the chemical effects of alcohol consumption; and the effects of alcohol abuse."

Also, "DPI must publish and make available at no charge a handbook containing the information from which the examination questions will be taken."

Medinger said the examination would be designed so that 80-90 percent of those taking it pass on the first try.

The proposal would also include a provision for someone with a physical or mental handicap that impairs the ability to pass the exam to apply for a waiver.
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Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Feb 19, 1990
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