What is legally 21?

Cecil still doesn’t cover the legal issues with a Leap Day baby. I could guess that you’d just wait until March 1, which would be considered “after” your birthday, so you could drink. But I’d be interested in any factual information.

It’d be a lot easier if you got to drink at 20. Then there wouldn’t be a problem until 2100.

I’m still right. 16 years is 5,843 days so you should be able to responsibly obtain a driver’s license at 5,843 days and whatever you’re not allowed to do until age 25, 25 years is 9,131 days so you should be able to do it at 9,131 days or whatever. My 25th birthday is on July 6 in 2016.

What makes you think your calculation of arbitrary measures of time should be observed rather than some other calculation method?

No, you’re still wrong. Literally everybody agrees that your birthday falls on the day of the month on which you were born. That’s how we do it in our culture. Nobody except you counts the number of days or hours or minutes. You’re being deliberately obtuse (or attempting to be clever).

I’m always right. I’ve been right since the day I was born. Why does this say that a person born on February 29, 1996 and March 1, 1996 had the same birthday this year when those were obviously 2 different days, Thursday and Friday? http://korn19.ch/coding/days.php

Their 17th birthday should’ve been on February 28 this year if they were born on February 29 so the next person’s 17th birthday would be exactly on March 1.

Years ago I worked as a claims authorizer for the Social Security Adm. It was well established law at that time (1970’s) that you attained your age on the day prior to your birthday (your birthday being the first day of your next year). It is certainly possible that different laws apply in each state for the purpose of enforcing state laws, but that has always made the most sense to me.

So I’m guessing age and years are non-related? What if you’re not allowed to start school at 1,826 days? Then what do you do? 1,826 days is obviously 5 years, and SOMEONE had to define the exact number of days in a year, or otherwise we wouldn’t have a calendar today or be on the Gregorian Calendar.

It is simply a convention that we measure age in years, not in days, or for that matter, hours or minutes (unless of course you are less than two years old, in which case your age is measured in months).

Nuh-uh. See also this.

Dammit! Beaten by ethelbert. Well, in this thread at least.

What if you were delivered at midnight right on the International Date Line?

And how are months counted? One month is approximately 30.5 days. Times that by 12 and you get 366 days. Three months is 91 days. Times that by 4 and you get 364 days. It’s just easier to count days.

Then I’ll still have a birthday because I’ll keep counting my 365 days until every fourth or fifth year when I count the 366 days. :smack:

Surely you realize that it depends on which three months you are talking about? Jan-Mar is only 90 days (unless leap year), Jun-August is 92 days.

In fact, by my calculations, there are only 2 contiguous 3-month periods in the year that add up to 91 days… April thru June and September thru November (there are two additional periods if February falls in a leap year… January thru March and December thru February).
But 3 months adds up to 92 six times (fully half of the time) regardless of leap year.

If you try to vote the day before your 18th birthday, or try to get served alchol the day before your 21st birthday, don’t expect anyone to sway anyone with “…no really, you forgot about leap year”.
As far as being LEGALLY 21 as inquired in your OP, your are LEGALLY 21 when the powers that be say you are… regardless of how many days, hours, or minutes have passed since you graced the world with your presence. Don’t hold your breath waiting for them to change no matter how much sense it makes to you.


Uh huh. And when the SSA starts serving drinks to the public or throwing people birthday parties, that might be relevant to what I assume the OP was asking about (my assumption based mainly on the “walking into a bar” example in the first post).

Whoops! My mistake. When you said “literally everybody” I thought you meant literally everybody and not “a minuscule fraction of people who may have occasion to consider the question of when somebody becomes a certain age.” I regret the error.

Yes, the “miniscule fraction” of people who celebrate their friends’/family members’ birthdays on the date of their birth every year vs. a government agency’s policy that affects precisely nobody in any meaningful way. Since we’re being idiotic, I guess I might as well claim the SSA isn’t a person, and so doesn’t count under the term “everybody”.

You do understand that one’s eligibility to collect Social Security benefits is tied to one’s age (among other things, one is entitled to benefits in any month in which one is full retirement age, so it does matter when the SSA considers when one turns that age). Now, I know that’s not quite a meaningful as one’s first legal shot of SoCo, but it seems to me that the program isn’t called “the third rail of politics” because no1curr.

And if the OP had seemed at all concerned with collecting SS benefits with his question rather than trying to come up with a pointless “Gotcha!” no rational person even cared about, that would be valuable information. But OK, I’ll grant you there may well be one single day in your entire life where getting a check on the 20th instead of the 21st makes the policy pertinent.

Three months will always be counted as 91 days regardless of where it’s from, just like a minute is always 60 seconds.

So what if I did do my 18th birthday at 6,574 days on July 6, 2009? You got a problem with it?!