Maryland Governor Signs Legislation Banning “AWOL” Machines

Annapolis, MD – Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley today signed a bill banning “alcohol without liquid” (AWOL) devices that allow consumers to inhale alcohol by mixing it with pure oxygen, according to the Distilled Spirits Council, which supported the legislation.

“We applaud the Maryland State Legislature’s strong commitment to seeing this bill reach the Governor’s desk and commend Governor O’Malley for signing the ban of these devices into law,” said Jay Hibbard, Council Vice President.

House Bill 670, sponsored by Delegate Susan McComas, prohibits the possession, purchase, transfer, sale or use of these devices, also known as “AWOL” machines. The new law goes into effect October 1, 2007.

“This device is being marketed and sold as a party toy,” Hibbard said.  “The distilled spirits industry deplores any attempt to encourage the reckless consumption of alcohol.”

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.”

Hibbard noted that Maryland is the 23rd state to pass a law banning AWOL machines.  Maryland neighbors Pennsylvania and Virginia each passed AWOL bans in 2006.

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