The House of Representatives passed at their Friday session a bill that would allow minors to serve and sell alcoholic beverages, in what its author said will open up more job opportunities for the youth.
House Bill 21-48, which would allow minors, or individuals who are at least 18 years old, to serve or sell alcoholic beverages but not mix it, passed the House last Friday on a unanimous vote.
The bill prevents a licensee, agent, or employee, however, to allow anybody under 21 to mix any alcoholic beverages at any on-sale establishment.
In an interview with Saipan Tribune, author Rep. Joel Camacho (R-Saipan) noted that the bill’s intention is to provide for more job opportunities for the younger generation.
“If we can entrust 18-year-olds to be able to vote and select their leaders, then I believe it is also my duty to represent them and provide opportunities for growth as well,” he said.
Camacho clarified that the bill does not allow minors to both mix and taste the alcohol.
The legislation’s findings recognized that there are graduating high school students who are working in the hotel service industry for experience to build careers.
However, Public Law 17-83 disallows a licensee, his agent, or employee to permit persons under the age of 21 to mix or serve alcoholic beverages at any on-sale establishments. That law would penalize violators with a fine of not more than $1,000 and even be possibly imprisoned for not more than one year or both.