Senator Fuschillo Supports Statewide Ban On Alcoholic Vaporizers

Charles J. Fuschillo Jr.

July 27, 2005

In his continuing efforts to end DWI in New York State, Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (8th Senate District) voted in favor of legislation that would create a statewide ban on alcoholic vaporizers. The measure was recently passed by the New York State Senate, and sent to the Assembly.

"These machines are marketed as a way to consume alcohol with fewer consequences than normal drinking, but because the alcohol is inhaled and not filtered through the body’s natural defenses, people could instead get a very quick and intense intoxication. If someone were to get behind the wheel of a car in that condition, it would pose a serious danger to everyone else on the road," said Senator Fuschillo, who has been a strong advocate for this legislation. "Our state has made tremendous strides in enacting strong laws to protect our residents from drunk driving crashes, and this legislation is another step in the right direction."

Alcoholic beverage vaporizer machines turns alcohol into a vapor that a user consumes through inhalation. The machine is advertised as a low-carbohydrate, low calorie method of consuming alcohol, without getting a hangover. However, the safety and physical effects of this type of alcoholic consumption have not been established.

Since inhaled alcohol bypasses many of the body’s defense mechanisms, it is unknown whether people will be more vulnerable to the immediate dangers associated with consuming very large amounts of alcohol. While the State Liquor Authority has concluded that existing laws prevent the use of these devices in bars and restaurants, no laws currently prohibit the sale of these machines to consumers.

"I am very pleased that this legislation has passed the Senate. I feel that many lives will be saved by banning this machine of death," said Denna Cohen, President of MADD Long Island.

"DEDICATEDD applauds Senator Fuschillo's efforts to stop the sale of AWOL machines in New York. It is common sense that the market for this device is not the responsible, law abiding, social drinker, but rather someone who is seeking the quickest way to become intoxicated," stated Marge Lee, the group’s Founder and President. "Passage of this bill will keep this dangerous device out of the hands of our children and others whose only intent is to become intoxicated. Drunk driving has been the cause of far too many deaths in New York. This device has the potential to increase the death toll, and logic dictates that anything that has that potential must be banned."

This continues Senator Fuschillo’s efforts in the fight against drunk driving. Previously, Senator Fuschillo authored the law which lowered New York State’s legal threshold of intoxication from a .10 blood alcohol content (BAC) to .08. In addition, Senator Fuschillo has introduced numerous other DWI legislative proposals that would impose stricter penalties on people who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.