The 18th Amendment was passed to protect the health and safety of the American people. Instead of preventing alcoholism, Prohibition contributed to the rise of organized crime. The 21st Amendment made the alcohol legal and controlled by many federal, state, and local laws.
Although a US citizen can vote at the age of 18 years, the legal drinking age can be older. In the State of California, a person must be 21 years old to drink alcohol.
On the N-400, and during the Citizenship interview, you will be asked:
- Part 10 D 22a: Have you ever been a habitual drunkard or alcoholic?
- Follow-up question: What is a habitual drunkard or alcoholic?
The USCIS is not asking: Have you ever been drunk?
- The USCIS is concerned that alcohol abuse prevents citizens from freely exercising the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
- Example: if a person is drunk when they vote, they cannot make a good decision.
- Alcohol abuse can also lead to crimes such as drunk driving or maintaining a safe work place.
- Alcoholics Anonymous: is an informal meeting for recovering and recovered alcoholics.
- Al-Anon/Alateen: Al-Anon is an informal meeting for friends and family members of alcoholics. Alateen is an informal for young adullts (12-24).
- MADD Mothers Against Drunk Driving: is a group that works to stop drunk driving, supports those affected by drunk driving, and prevents underage drinking.