Drunk driving is a continual problem for all age groups, but teenagers are by far the most at risk of injuries and death in these types of crashes. Safety advocates such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) are continually fighting to raise awareness and reduce instances of intoxicated driving—and this summer, they are taking aim at a new product coming out that could put teens at risk.

Why Are Safety Groups Concerned About Palcohol?

Earlier this month, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved a product called Palcohol, a dehydrated substance that is mixed with water to create an alcoholic beverage. The creator of the beverage plans to offer many different flavors of the powdered alcohol for sale in a few short months, potentially placing drivers at risk of an untested intoxicating substance.

Many groups suspect that powdered alcohol will increase drunk driving rates due to:

  • Concealment. While the creator of Palcohol succeeded in making an alcohol that would could be easy to carry, the lightweight packets are also easy to conceal. The product’s website suggested that Palcohol could even be taken into movie theaters and stadiums. Police officers who are checking for open containers during a suspected DUI are not trained to look for powdered drink substances, which could be easily concealed in a driver’s pocket.
  • Absorption rates. Directions for the product stipulate that each 1 oz packet of Palcohol should be mixed with 6 oz of water, and the resulting mixture is equivalent to one shot of liquor. As the powdered packet can be consumed with or without rehydrating, it may be harder to tell when you’ve had too many, especially if it is mixed with other alcoholic beverages to make them stronger.
  • Younger users. The flavors and novelty of powdered alcohol are likely to appeal to people who experiment with new forms of drugs and cocktails, such as teenagers. The manufacturer has already responded to concerns that people may try to snort the powder or mix several packets into a small amount of water for a more potent mixture.

Some states, including Vermont, South Carolina, and Louisiana, have already banned powdered alcohol due to its potential dangerous effects. Do you think Missouri should join them? Share this article with your friends on Facebook or Google+ to keep them aware of the potential risks and let them know what you think!

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James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.