A South Carolina lawmaker says underage military servicemen and women should be allowed to drink alcohol.

Representative Fletcher Smith has sponsored legislation that would allow alcohol purchases if service members younger than 21 show a military identification card to a bartender or store clerk.

State law prohibits the sale or possession of alcoholic beverages by anyone under 21.

Changing the law would cost South Carolina to lose federal highway money.

South Carolina raised the drinking age to 21 from 18 to comply with federal law in 1984.

Safety advocates oppose the Greenville Democrat's bill. They say many studies show that giving alcohol to people younger than 21 does not make life safer for the military, nor for others on the nation's highways.