Rep. Cabello Proposes New Legislation to Lower Legal Drinking Age to 18

Machesney Park, IL – Assistant Minority Leader and State Representative John M. Cabello (R-Machesney Park) announced today that he is sponsoring a bill to amend the Liquor Control Act of 1934, which seeks to change the legal age for possessing, consuming, and manufacturing alcohol from 21 to 18 years old.

“Many 18-year-olds are already contributing members of society, working full-time jobs, attending college, and serving – and in some cases dying for – our country in the military,” said Rep. Cabello. “By lowering the drinking age, we are acknowledging their maturity and ability to make responsible decisions, just as we do in other aspects of their lives.”

Rep. Cabello believes that lowering the drinking age to bring Illinois in line with states like Wisconsin and Ohio, where 18-year-olds can order alcoholic beverages if a parent or guardian is present, will have more families eating inside of restaurants which generates economic activity. It will also avoid putting federal dollars for road construction and maintenance at risk if the General Assembly decides to move forward with the measure.

He argues that young adults who are considered responsible enough to vote, serve in the military, get married, and make other important life decisions should also have the right to consume alcohol responsibly.

The proposed legislation also aims to reduce the prevalence of underage drinking by eliminating the allure of alcohol as a “forbidden fruit” and promoting a culture of responsible alcohol consumption. Rep. Cabello maintains that by allowing 18-year-olds to legally purchase and consume alcohol, they will be more likely to learn responsible habits and avoid dangerous binge drinking.

The bill will be debated in the coming weeks as it makes its way through the legislative process. Rep. Cabello is encouraging constituents to voice their opinions on the matter and welcomes open dialogue on the proposal.

For more information on this legislation, please contact Rep. John Cabello’s office at (815) 974-0090 or visit his website at

John M. Cabello is the Assistant Minority Leader and State Representative for Illinois’ 90th House District, which includes the following communities in Winnebago, Stephenson, and Boone counties: Rockford, Machesney Park, Freeport, Roscoe, Loves Park, Rockton, South Beloit, Caledonia, Durand, Rock City, and Rockton.