A new party toy is joining the ranks of ping-pong balls and beer bongs.
The alcohol without liquid machine, or AWOL, vaporizes alcohol and mixes it with oxygen for a quick buzz after inhalation.
Colorado legislators are attempting to pass a bill that would ban the device altogether – until they know for sure how safe inhaling alcohol vapor is. Gov. Bill Owens will now decide whether to sign the bill and make using the device a class-2 misdemeanor. The bill would also require liquor license suspensions or revocations of establishments that carry it.
AWOL comes with a warning that users should count how many hits they take, but that doesn't mean everyone will follow the instructions. Furthermore, if users get intoxicated too quickly using the machine, counting may be a futile effort.
Laws exist to protect state residents. A ban on AWOL, until the government is sure of its safety, would protect Colorado residents from susceptible dangers and unknown effects, which could occur.
Even if drinkers are responsible and know their limits, inhaling alcohol could cause them to exceed that limit before they realize it.
Fort Collins Police Services spokeswoman Rita Davis said that there have been no problems related to AWOL in Fort Collins so far. We should keep it that way by regulating the use of alcohol vaporizers and educating people about their effects.
If you are 21, raise your glass and take a drink. Using a machine with unknown dangers isn't worth the buzz.