COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) – State Representative Todd Rutherford wants to lower the drinking age in South Carolina to 18.

Rutherford, who is the Democrat House Minority Leader, filed the bill Wednesday.

“This is a personal freedom issue. If you are old enough to fight for our country, if you’re old enough to vote, if you’re old enough to sign on thousands of dollars of students loans for a college education, then you are old enough to have a drink,” Rep. Rutherford said.

Rutherford also said South Carolina’s fiscal outlook means that the state can adjust the drinking age while improving roads.

“Now is the time to do this. Between the existing state budget surplus, all the money that Joe Biden has sent us, and the economic growth that will come as a result, we can afford to do this,” Rep. Rutherford said. “Rather than criminalize adults for doing something that is otherwise legal, we can show the rest of the country that there is a better way.”

The drinking age in South Carolina last changed in 1984, when it was raised from 18 to 21 years old among a move by the federal government to withhold highway funding from states with lowers legal drinking ages.