Governor O’Malley approved Senate Bill 75 on May 25, 2014 that effectively banned the sale of high-proof alcohol in the State of Maryland. The bill, which went into effect on July 1st banned the retail sale of alcohol that is more than 95% alcohol (190 proof). Maryland had previously allowed the sale of Everclear and other high-proof alcohols, but recent measures have repealed the laws allowing the sale.
Baltimore Criminal Lawyer: What does the term “proof” actually mean?
The term proof dates back to the 18th century when rum was the primary spirit consumed. In order for people to tell if the rum they received was pure and not watered down, they conducted an experiment. They would pour the rum over gunpowder and ignite it to determine the purity of the rum. If the gunpowder did not ignite, it was deemed “under proof”; if the gunpowder did ignite, the purchaser could be reassured that the rum was not watered down. The rum would ignite at about 57% alcohol by volume and would be deemed 100° proof, or 100 percent proved alcohol. In the United States, the term proof is determined by doubling the amount of alcohol by volume in a given liquor. For example, if a liquor is deemed 80 proof, it contains 40% alcohol by volume.
Baltimore Criminal Lawyer: What does this new law mean?
The new law bans the retail sale of grain alcohol and spirits with an alcohol content of more than 95% by volume. These alcohols can be dangerous because the relatively cheap alcohol is virtually tasteless and can easily be over consumed. Many university presidents have tried to ban gain spirits because of the danger they pose to consumers who may not be aware of how much alcohol they have consumed.
Baltimore Criminal Lawyer: What happens if a store sells high-proof alcohol?
Under the new law, a retail establishment that sells alcohol that is 190 proof (95% alcohol by volume) may be found guilty of a misdemeanor and punished by a fine not to exceed $1,000.00.
Baltimore Criminal Lawyer: What happens if I am cited for selling high-proof spirits after July 1st?
If you are cited for a violation of the new law by selling high-proof alcohol, call a Baltimore Criminal Lawyer. ENLawyers is here to help you navigate through the new law. The attorneys at ENLawyers have extensive experience with business matters and criminal issues. Call us for a free 1-hour consultation to find out how we can help.