Distilled Spirits Council Commends Florida Governor For Signing Bill Banning AWOL Machines

June 11, 2006 08:00 PM

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS) today praised Florida Governor Jeb Bush for signing into law legislation banning “alcohol without liquid” devices that allow consumers to inhale alcohol by mixing alcohol with pure oxygen.
“Governor Bush and Florida lawmakers have made it clear they do not want this device in the state and we commend their resolve to pass this law,” said DISCUS Vice President Jay Hibbard.
H.B. 95, which will take effect July 1, prohibits the sale, offer for sale purchase or use of these devices, also known as “AWOL” machines.  A first violation for selling or offering for sale an AWOL machine, under the new law, is a first degree misdemeanor and a repeat offense within five years is punishable as a third degree felony. Purchasing or using the device is punishable by a $250 fine.
Hibbard pointed to the AWOL company’s web site which calls the device “the ultimate party toy!” The site states that this method of inhaling alcohol “reduces the effects of a hangover,” eliminating “the dreaded hangover.”

“This device is being marketed and sold as a party toy,” said Hibbard. “Our industry deplores any attempt to encourage reckless consumption of alcohol.”
Hibbard noted that eighteen state legislatures including Florida have already passed laws banning AWOL machines, while legislation is still pending in five states.

Hibbard stated that the distilled spirits industry is committed to fighting the irresponsible consumption of beverage alcohol. He pointed to the work of The Century Council, a not-for-profit organization funded by America’s leading distillers, which has programs available for communities to fight underage drinking and drunk driving. For more information regarding these programs, visit www.centurycouncil.org.

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