ANNAPOLIS, MD — The Distilled Spirits Council submitted testimony today at a legislative hearing in support of a bill that would ban “alcohol without liquid” devices that allow consumers to inhale alcohol by mixing alcohol with pure oxygen. House Bill 1284, sponsored by Delegate Susan McComas (District 35B), would prohibit the purchase or use of these devices, also known as “AWOL” machines. Under the bill, a person who violates the law would be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction would be subject to a fine up to $1000. Other sponsors of the bill include Maryland Delegates Aumann, Bronrott, Cadden, Conroy, Cryor, DeBoy, Dumais, Dwyer, Eckardt, Edwards, Elliott, Feldman, Gilleland, Glassman, Haddaway, Impallaria, Kohl, Krebs, Mayer, McDonough, McMillan, Menes, Myers, Petzold, Shank, Shewell, Stocksdale, Walkup, and Weldon. “Maryland legislators have made it clear they do not want this device available in the state and we support their decision,” said Distilled Spirits Council Vice President Jay Hibbard, who noted that eight states have passed laws banning AWOL machines. 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 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.