Parents and politicians are up in arms over a powdered alcohol that they worry will find its way into the hands of underage children.
Approval was erroneously given to powdered alcohol by The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau on April 18, and was voluntarily withdrawn 13 days later due to public outcry. However, Palcohol remains to be a concern for many states, several of which are banning it altogether.
Palcohol is a lightweight powdered alcohol, originally developed by Arizona resident Mark Phillips, which is added to liquids or foods to make alcoholic substances anywhere, any time.
The Palcohol website has been cleared of its original content since the approval error in April, but it previously suggested that it should be sold just like any other alcoholic drink, meaning that it would be sold where liquid alcohol is sold, and buyers would have to be of legal drinking age to purchase it.
Despite these restrictions, opponents are worried that the powder will fall into the hands of minors who will abuse the alcohol by loading up drinks or snorting it.
“What’s to stop somebody from mixing two or three packets with that amount of liquid and really beefing up the alcoholic content,” Ohio State Representative Jim Buchy, (R) 84th District said regarding a proposed ban of Palcohol in Ohio according to ABC 22.
According to Gawker, the Palcohol website originally addressed the topic of snorting the product by admitting that it can be done.
“Yes, you can snort it,” the Palcohol website stated, “And you’ll get drunk almost instantly because the alcohol will be absorbed so quickly in your nose. Good idea? No. It will mess you up. Use Palcohol responsibly.”
Teens around the country are already experimenting with new ways to get drunk using vapors and powdered alcohol, which isn’t sold in the U.S. but can be found for purchase online from other countries, and suffering the consequences, CBS Denver reports.
“We’ve had a few patients that have been very intoxicated. One that I know of had to have a breathing tube put in and we had to breathe for them for a period of time because they were not breathing adequately on their own,” said Dr. Christopher Colwell, Chief of Emergency Medicine at Denver Health in an interview with CBS Denver.
Growing concern for abuse of powdered alcohol and its effects have been grounds enough to ban Palcohol altogether from Alaska and South Carolina. New York, Vermont, Minnesota and Ohio are currently proposing legislation to ban it as well, ABC 22 said.
So what could the increasing popularity of powdered alcohol mean for Arizona residents?
For starters, regulation of the powder would be tough considering the substance is easy to conceal, leading to DUI arrests and even deaths from Palcohol abuse.
Arizona tied with Wyoming for the fourth-highest rate of alcohol-related deaths among its working-age population from 2006 to 2010, according to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study, AZCentral reports.
And in 2012, the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility reported 227 total alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in Arizona, with 29 fatalities reported as minors.
While it seems powdered alcohol could negatively affect Arizona and other states that are already troubled by alcohol abuse, the impact of powdered alcohol on Arizona citizens and law enforcement remains unclear, but it is important to understand your DUI rights and laws despite these uncertainties.
The Arizona DUI defense attorneys at Corso Law Group do everything in their power to protect defendants and advocate for their rights. They have the experience and expertise to deal with DUI charges in Arizona and will fight to get the charges dismissed.