General Assembly Vote Tracker

Decriminalization of Underage Drinking Passes

Senator Laura Sturgeon’s Senate Bill 44 did a little bouncing between the House and Senate before finally passing the Senate a second time on the final day of the session. This bill would make possession or consumption of alcohol by anyone younger than 21 a civil offense, meaning it would not appear on a criminal record. 

It passed the Senate the first time 19-0-2, and then the House 34-6 after being amended to make only the first and second offenses civil. A third offense would then rise to a criminal offense. The amendment also removes driver’s license revocation as a penalty for a violation of either the civil or criminal offense of underage drinking. This was a friendly amendment welcomed by Senator Sturgeon.

Sturgeon urged lawmakers to understand that people make mistakes in their youth, especially in regards to underage drinking, and teenagers shouldn’t be treated criminally for that kind of mistake. We have all done it. Every single Representative and Senate in that chamber has done it. If they deny it they are lying.

WHERE IS THE BILL?  Passed the Senate 19-0-2 and then was amended and passed in the House 34-6-1, and then passed again in the Senate 20-0-1.

DEMOCRATIC SPONSORS – Sturgeon, McBride, Minor-Brown, Schwartzkopf, Cooke, Carson, Chukwuocha, Heffernan, Kowalko, Longhurst, Lynn

REPUBLICAN SPONSORS –

YES VOTES – SENATE — Bonini Brown Cloutier Delcollo Ennis Hansen Hocker Lawson Lockman Lopez McBride McDowell Paradee Pettyjohn Poore Richardson Sokola Sturgeon Townsend Walsh Wilson ||| HOUSE — Baumbach Bennett Bentz Bolden Brady Briggs King Bush Carson Chukwuocha Cooke Dorsey Walker Gray Griffith Heffernan Hensley Jaques K. Johnson K. Williams Kowalko Longhurst Lynn Matthews Michael Smith  Minor-Brown Mitchell Osienski Q. Johnson Ramone Schwartzkopf Seigfried Spiegelman Vanderwende Viola Yearick

NO VOTES – SENATE — None ||| HOUSE — Collins D.Short Dukes Morris Postles Shupe

ABSENT – McDowell (on second vote), Pettyjohn and Richardson (on first vote), Smyk

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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