Legally Drunk

It’s weird to see 1977 university staff images with EVERYONE drinking, since you could never do that now. Most students can’t drink until they’re juniors nowadays. But back when the drinking age was 18, nearly every student on campus was free to imbibe.

1977 Univ of Tx Texan Advertising Staff

Until 1981 Texas had a minimum drinking age of 18. And you bet your bippy those 18-year-olds took advantage.

drinks at the Texas Tavern on campus

But it wasn’t just pints of beer. Spiked punch made the rounds at deans’ meetings. And the dean seems pleased.

These Delta Kappa Epsilons decided they needed an entire wine cellar for the night.

Such young revelry led to poor decisions regarding hairstyles.

And poor decisions regarding fashion.

They were ugly sweater before ugly sweater was a thing.

And sometimes folks just got too greedy.

Sigma Phi Epsilon street party


15 thoughts on “Legally Drunk”

  1. Very fine post! In high school the drinking age in Alberta, only 90 minutes away from our town in British Columbia, was 18. You could usually get into the bars in Banff even if you were 16 or seventeen. It made for some crazy times.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t even imagine! Such a different world. In Texas now, nobody under 18 can legally drive after midnight. It’s hard to believe how many freedoms they had a few decades ago when they could dry whenever they pleased and drink at 18. So I take it you had some drinks at 18?


      1. It sure was a different time. We drove at 16. Some of those trips back from Banff through the mountain pass were pretty hairy. The difference now is there are so many more people on the road. I really enjoy your blog and often wonder where you find your photos.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. So interesting. Thank you for reading my blog! I have a few hundred year books and magazines that I’ve collected and lots of books of historical pictures, so I just want to share them before they get crumbly and die. I just hate for these historical images to be lost forever.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Crazy. I for one like the different laws; state by state. Twenty some years ago in New Mexico a 15 year old could go into a bar with a parent. At the same time in Indiana a minor couldn’t even be in the same room with the bar. Crazy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I went to college in Ohio in the 70’s. You had to be 21 to drink but at 18 you could drink low-alcohol content 3.2 beer. So students walked around like the guy in your last picture carrying 6 at a time. You were more likely to get bloated than drunk.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, my goodness! I’ve never heard of such a thing! And how could a police officer discern what ale was inside a plastic cup? That sounds like the oddest policy. I get frustrated if I can’t get >5% at a bar. I bet you’re right about the bloating! Thanks for sharing that.


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