Maryland Senate Votes To Ban High-Proof Alcohol From Liquor Stores | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Maryland Senate Votes To Ban High-Proof Alcohol From Liquor Stores

Play associated audio
Under the bill, high-proof alcohol like Everclear would be banned from liquor stores in Maryland.
Under the bill, high-proof alcohol like Everclear would be banned from liquor stores in Maryland.

The Maryland Senate passed a bill today by a vote of 37-10 that would ban high-proof alcohol from liquor stores.

Montgomery County Democrat Richard Madaleno's bill would ban any drink that is 95 percent alcohol — 190 proof — from being sold in Maryland. He told his colleagues on the Senate floor the measure really targets only one kind of liquor: grain alcohol.

"It's odorless. It's tasteless. It's an easy way, if you want to dump grain alcohol into a punch or any other drink, in order to up the grain alcohol content," he said.

There are many dangers stemming from such high-proof alcohol according to Madaleno, who says that leaders at universities in Maryland are asking for the measure. They blame alcohol poisoning for fights, sexual assaults, injuries, and deaths.

Those concerns were echoed by Democrat Karen Montgomery of Montgomery County, one of the 37 senators who approved the bill. She says while there will always be jokes about alcohol and trying to get college students to stop drinking, this was no laughing matter.

"This is a date rape drug," Montgomery said. "This is a take somebody's clothes off and take pictures of them. This is a dangerous alcohol."

Republican Ed Reilly of Anne Arundel County purchased a bottle of Everclear at an Annapolis liquor store on Tuesday night and brought it with him to the Senate floor today. He disagrees with the characterization that it is odorless.

"As a child — one of nine children — I ended up in the doctor's office on a regular basis," Reilly said. "When I opened the top and took a smell, it reminded me of the wonderful days getting stitches and x-rays."

Reilly was one of ten senators who ended up voting against the measure.

"Where do we draw the line? If we're at 190 this year, the next bill will come in at 150 or 110 or 90," he said.

The bill now moves to the House of Delegates.

The Senate was prepared to vote on the bill yesterday, but a one-day delay was granted so skeptical senators could see what restrictions neighboring states such as Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania have on high-proof liquor. As the report indicates (pdf), all three have either prohibited its sale or put severe restrictions on those who can buy it.

NPR

Handmade Signs From Homeless People Lead To Art, Understanding

Artist Willie Baronet is on a 24-city, 31-day trek across the country this month, buying handmade signs from homeless people. He says the project has changed the way he views homelessness.
NPR

You'll Be Maaaaaaaad About Goat If You Follow This Chef's Recipe

Goat — it's the other red meat! And it's easy to mess up. Kenyan-born Kevin Onyona reveals the secrets to a tender yet hearty stew: You've got to break down that meat, and you've got to give it love.
WAMU 88.5

McDonnell Corruption Trial Begins Monday

It's a first for the Commonwealth of Virginia on Monday, as Bob McDonnell becomes the first governor of Old Dominion to face potential jail time.

NPR

What It's Like To Own Your Very Own Harrier Jump Jet

The Harrier Jump Jet is known for vertical take-offs and landings. It also has an accident-prone track record, but that didn't dissuade one pilot from buying his dream plane.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.