Powdered Alcohol (“Palcohol”) Faces Ban in Florida

Apr. 9th, 2015   /   , ,

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You may know something about a new product slated to hit the consumer market this summer called Palcohol, which is alcohol in powder form. That said, know this: Florida is working its way toward a bill that would make that product illegal in the Sunshine State.

The product’s website, which you can access here, says the company behind Palcohol expects to start selling the product, which has recently been given approval by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, this summer. Before we explore its dangers and impending legal battles, let’s clarify what it is: Palcohol is powdered alcohol whose main ingredient is – you guessed it! – alcohol. (When designed for creating specialty drinks, the powder is mixed with flavor and sweetener.)

Essentially, as our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Aronberg, Aronberg & Green have learned, you just pour the powder into six ounces of “liquid,” as they say on the website, to create an alcoholic beverage. As said by the manufacturer, when you mix the powder with the liquid, it will have about the same amount of alcohol that a standard drink that you’d order at a bar would have. That said, the way the website describes the steps in creating the drink (i.e., adding the powder to “liquid,” as opposed to “water”), implies that it might be acceptable to add the powder to, say, beer or liquor. Doing so would, as you can imagine, make the resulting drink much higher in alcohol content than it’d be if you just mixed it with water.

Now, we’ve written at great length on this blog page about the true dangers of driving while drunk. Indeed, every day in the United States, an average of 28 people lose their lives due to injuries sustained from a drunk driving/DUI crash. (More comprehensive, concerning statistics can be accessed here.) The fact of the matter is, as our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers know, the availability of powdered alcohol makes the likelihood that people will be drinking and driving much higher than it already is. Think about it: how many people do you expect to run to their local store and stick a few packs of Palcohol in their back pockets? Sneaking out of the house or into the car with alcohol has never been so easy. Grabbing a water bottle and getting into the car might seem innocent enough, but once the car leaves the driveway and the driver pours the powdered alcohol into his otherwise harmless water bottle, he becomes a drunken driver and his car becomes a potential weapon of mass destruction.

Because of the dangers posed by Palcohol, Florida State Senator Anitere Flores, of Miami, filed a bill (SB 536), which will ban “distilled spirits in powdered form,” including and especially Palcohol. Florida is not the only state moving to ban the product; it’s joined by Colorado, Utah, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Illinois.

Rest assured that even if Palcohol is not made illegal, it will undoubtedly be the target of legal opposition. The first time a minor, for instance, gets into a DUI-fueled car crash resulting in property damage or injury, it will be argued that Palcohol is at least partially liable given the ease with which their product allowed a safe driver to become a drunk driver. That said, our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers fully expect to see Palcohol banned in Florida before it even goes on sale.

If you have any questions about powdered alcohol and the danger it poses, or if you’ve been injured due to the wrongdoing or negligence of another, please contact our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Aronberg, Aronberg & Green by calling 561-266-9191 or by e-mailing us at daronberg@aronberglaw.com to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to helping you!

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