Amherst drinking culture one step closer to changing

Pelham and Granby also voted on this same measure within their own towns, which both failed.

Photo: Thinkstock

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) –  In a town where three college campuses dominate the drinking culture, underage drinking is a problem.

On Election Day, 54% of Amherst residents passed a non-binding ballot question to reduce the drinking age for beer and wine from 21 to 19. Hard liquor is off limits. The vote directs Amherst’s state representative Solomon Goldstein-Rose to vote in favor of this hypothetical change.

“It seems like a reasonable proposal to me,” says Julia Wheeler of Amherst. “19-year-olds who want to get alcohol are going to get alcohol, so it might as well be legal for them to buy it.”

The change could also affect college culture.

“I do think there would be a higher call for police, ambulances, and things like that,” says Reeve Gutsell. “I also think that a lot of times when there’s issues of sexual harassment or date rape or things like that, often times alcohol is involved.”

Pelham and Granby also voted on this same measure within their own towns. Both proposals failed.

If passed, a 19-year-old age limit would ensure most high school students would not be able to drink alcohol legally.