ANNAPOLIS (AP) — Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley signed a measure on Monday banning the sale of alcohol that is 190-proof and stronger.
The new law had strong backing from leaders of colleges and universities.
“Grain alcohol is seen as a cheap and reliable way to get drunk quickly, sometimes without the person knowing it,” said Jonathan Gibralter, president of Frostburg State University, who attended a bill signing ceremony and noted that the inexpensive cost equates to about 35 cents a drink. “Not surprisingly, its potency and low price make grain alcohol a popular option for college students.”
The new law, which takes effect July 1, prohibits a person from selling at retail an alcoholic beverage with an alcohol content of 95 percent or more. Violations will be punishable as a misdemeanor with a fine of up to $1,000.
More than a dozen states have passed similar laws. Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania already have banned 190-proof products.