State News

190-proof alcohol leaving state liquor store shelves

Posted November 30, 2010 11:53 a.m. EST
Updated November 30, 2010 1:22 p.m. EST

— North Carolina's liquor stores will stop selling 95 percent pure grain alcohol out of concern the product can be abused by students with dangerous results.

The state Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission told local ABC boards in a memo it's ending the distribution of the pure grain alcohol to more than 400 stores statewide starting Wednesday. A state ABC spokeswoman said Tuesday the decision means four products of 190-proof alcohol won't be kept at the state-run warehouse anymore.

WCNC-TV in Charlotte first reported the change after the Mecklenburg County ABC Board found much of the pure grain alcohol was being sold at stores close to college campuses. Mecklenburg board chief executive Paul Stroup calls the product dangerous, with no redeeming social value.

"The ABC Commission has long been concerned that young adults drinking nearly pure alcohol are especially vulnerable to alcohol poisoning," Jon Williams, chairman of the state commission, said in a statement. "The state is pleased to have the cooperation of the distillers in removing these products from our market and wants to also recognize the leadership efforts of Mecklenburg County ABC in restricting access at the retail sales level of 190-proof alcohol."

The highest proof liquors that will be sold at ABC stores will be 151-proof Everclear, officials said.