Maryland Bans High-Proof Alcohol In Hopes Of Preventing Rape

Aldana Fourcade Contributor
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Maryland has a new law that makes it illegal to purchase or serve 190-proof grain alcohol in hopes of lowering the number of sexual assault cases, reports the Daily Beast.

Potent, 190-proof grain alcohol, such as “Everclear,” has been banned in Maryland. Believing there is some kind of link between alcohol and rape, this law focuses on lowering the number of sexual assault cases on college campuses.

A 375 mL bottle of Everclear costs around $12, and one shot (1.5 oz) has about as much alcohol content as 2 or 2.5 shots of other popular liquors. A popular college drink, “jungle juice,” usually consists of Everclear and different types of juices, which, along with the high alcohol content of the liquor, helps disguise the taste, making it easier to drink.

Along with Maryland, Everclear is illegal in 11 states, including California, New York and Hawaii.

Some support it:

“The thinking is that if the grain alcohol is banned then inadvertent drinking to the extent that they won’t be able to consent would be less likely.”

Others believe it ignores other factors:

“At the end of the day, alcohol isn’t the problem. The problem is that we aren’t teaching kids about consent, how to be respectful of their sexual partners… we’re not teaching them that a drunk or passed out person cannot consent,” said Tracey Vitchers, the board chairman at Students Active for Ending Rape.

College students may try to get around it, finding other types of high proof alcohol, but the law will make it harder to get it.

The banning of potent grain alcohol may also help reduce binge drinking, and alcohol with 151 proof is still legal.