SACRAMENTO – The Distilled Spirits Council today commended the California Assembly Governmental Organization Committee for its swift passage of legislation banning “alcohol without liquid” (AWOL) devices that allow consumers to inhale alcohol by mixing alcohol with pure oxygen. The bill now moves to the full Assembly for passage. The bill, AB 273, sponsored by Assemblyman Joe Baca, Jr., would prohibit the sale or use of these machines or devices. Penalties include a fine of $250 for the use of the machine and up to $25,000 for the sale these devices. “We commend Assemblyman Baca and the Committee for keeping these irresponsible devices out of California and we urge other states to do the same,” said Dr. Peter Cressy, President of the Distilled Spirits Council. “The distilled spirits industry deplores any attempt to encourage reckless consumption of alcohol.” Cressy 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 hangovers.” “Consumed responsibly and in moderation, beverage alcohol can be a normal, healthy adult lifestyle choice,” said Cressy. “There is absolutely nothing responsible about these devices and they should be banned immediately.” The Distilled Spirits Council provided oral testimony at today’s Committee hearing. A copy of the testimony follows. -30- TESTIMONY OF BERMAN OBALDIA, VICE PRESIDENT, DISTILLED SPIRITS COUNCIL ON AB 273 April 6, 2005 I am speaking to you today on behalf of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, a national trade association representing producers and marketers of distilled spirits sold in the United States, in support of AB 273, an act designed to ban the Alcohol Without Liquid Machine (AWOL) in California. The members of the Distilled Spirits Council are committed to fighting the irresponsible consumption of beverage alcohol. Through our sister organization, The Century Council, our members have invested over $130 million in programs and initiatives to encourage responsible decision-making and to fight abuse, including underage drinking and drunk driving. We have partnered with communities across California to achieve these common goals. Through its website, the marketers of AWOL promote this device as the “ultimate party toy” and a way to reduce the effects of a hangover. This attempt to glorify reckless consumption is wrong and sends the wrong message. This type of practice and message is unacceptable. There is absolutely nothing responsible about the AWOL device and we urge swift passage of AB 273.