Louisiana State Senator Introduces Bill to Ban Under-21s from Bars in Honor of Madison Brooks
Louisiana State Senator Beth Mizell has introduced Senate Bill 194, the CARD 'EM Act (Create Alcohol Responsibility & Deterrence), in response to the tragic death of 19-year-old Louisiana State University student Madison Brooks. Brooks was raped and then struck and killed by a car in January 2023 after being overserved alcohol at a local bar. Medical and toxicology reports showed that her blood alcohol content was above the legal limit for driving in Louisiana, and three of her assailants were also under 21 years old.
Senator Mizell's proposed legislation aims to prevent similar tragedies by banning anyone under the age of 21 from entering bars, a measure already in place in the rest of the United States. Louisiana's drinking age has been set at 21 since 1996, but the state does not currently prohibit those under 21 from entering bars. The CARD 'EM Act would bring Louisiana in line with the rest of the country and help to prevent underage drinking.
Opponents of the bill may question its potential economic impact on bars in the state. However, Senator Mizell points out that if bars are operating legally and not serving alcohol to anyone under 21, eliminating underage attendance should have no negative economic impact. The primary goal of the legislation is to protect young people and prevent tragedies like the death of Madison Brooks.
Senator Mizell believes that raising the age limit for entering bars will make it more difficult for young adults to obtain alcohol and prevent underage drinking. "Madison's death was a tragedy that never should have happened," said Senator Mizell. "We need to take strong action to prevent underage drinking and ensure that young adults in our community are safe. The CARD 'EM Act is a common-sense step that will help to prevent harm and save lives."
The proposed legislation has been named in honor of Madison Brooks, and her tragic death has brought attention to the issue of underage drinking and the need for stronger measures to prevent it. Senator Mizell's bill will now go through the legislative process in Louisiana, with supporters hoping it will receive widespread support and be passed into law.