LOUISIANA (KLFY) — A Louisiana senator is pushing for a new bill to raise the minimum age to enter a bar in Louisiana to 21.
This comes after the tragic death of 19-year-old LSU sophomore Madison Brooks.
Authorities say Brooks was fatally struck by a car in January after allegedly being sexually assaulted then dropped off on the side of a dark road.
Prosecutors say before Brooks’ death, she left a bar with four men, three whom were under the age of 21, after a night of drinking.
Just last week, the owner of Reggie’s bar, where the teens were that night, was banned from operating bars in Louisiana.
While Louisiana Senator Beth Mizell (R-Franklinton) says that’s a step in the right direction, she wants more to be done across the state. That’s why she’s pushing for the ‘Card ‘Em Act’ to pass.
“We all know the Madison Brooks tragedy. There were a lot of factors with that, but at the end of the day when you look at it and you see that the victim and the perpetrators were underage and had been overserved, it begs the question of why we are letting underage people into the bar to begin with,” Senator Mizell said.
Unlike most bars in states across the country, it’s not uncommon to see an 18-year-old in a bar in Louisiana. Senator Mizell says if the state law is you need to be 21 to drink, there’s no point for anyone younger than 21 to be let into bars.
“I mean you’re not going to a bar to get a hamburger,” Mizell said. “We know 18, 19 and 20-year-olds are going into bars underage and drinking. We have seen just so many stories of this, so we just need to be honest and say we’ve been doing something. We’ve allowed illegal activity, and we’re not going to do it anymore. We’re going to acknowledge that the law is 21.”
Senator Mizell says if the ‘Card ‘Em Act’ is passed, it could prevent underage drinking and in return, future tragedies.
“It breaks my heart what happened to Madison. It breaks my heart. There were layers of heartbreak in that. So I would hope that we could change the attitude about taking advantage of situations like that,” she added.
The bill is scheduled to appear in a senate committee meeting on May 9.