The leader of the state’s Alcohol Beverages Division says greater regulation of Everclear is more likely than an outright ban. Division administrator Lynn Walding says that’s based on e-mail comments and a hearing by the Alcoholic Beverages Commission held at Drake University last night.
“The likelihood of ban is less likely than one would think, more likely they’ll look for less restrictive alternatives and hope that that works,” Walding says. He says if new restrictions are successful it would take care of the concerns of the high-alcohol content in Everclear. Walding says if there were still problems, the commission would reopen the matter.
The discussion on Everclear heated up after a Drake University student nearly died from alcohol poisoning that was linked to Everclear. Everclear is colorless and odorless and has an alcohol content of over 75%. Walding says the comments so far have not supported an outright ban.
Walding says the public comment thus far has been two-to-one in favor of not banning Everclear, but there have been many suggestions about limiting the size of Everclear sales, instituting an education campaign, or higher taxes on liquor with higher alcohol content. Walding says all the attention has peaked interest in the drink that has been popular at college parties.
Walding says the discussion of banning Everclear has led to increased sales. “So it’s one of the ironies here, while we’re trying to regulate and control the item by just simply talking about it, is having the opposite effect of having people wanting to explore and wanting to look at the product more,” Walding says. Walding says the commission will likely make some type of decision in February.
He says they’ve left the issue open to allow more people to make comments on the issue and will take it up at their meeting on February 25th during their meeting in Ankeny. You can give your comments on the issue at the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Commission’s website here: www.iowaabd.com.