O’Malley signs bill banning grain alcohol

BRIAN WITTE
Associated Press

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has signed a measure banning the retail sale of alcohol that is 190-proof and stronger.

The new law signed Monday by the Democratic governor had strong backing from leaders of colleges and universities.

Jonathan Gibralter, president of Frostburg State University, says grain alcohol is seen as a cheap and reliable way to get drunk quickly. He says that makes it a popular option for students, who don’t realize how intoxicated it can make them very quickly.

U.S. Naval Academy Commandant Bill Byrne also attended the bill signing in Annapolis to express his support for the law. Byrne says it marks another step to help fight alcohol abuse.

More than a dozen other states have banned grain alcohol sales.

The Maryland law takes effect July 1.

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