New Laws Banning Powdered Alcohol and Powdered Caffeine
Last year, Governor Bruce Rauner signed two bills into law that placed a ban on powdered alcohol and restricted the sale of powdered caffeine to people under the age of 18.The two laws were primarily driven by concerns over the substance’s potential for abuse, especially among minors.
Powdered alcohol, also known as “palcohol,” is defined as any powder or crystalline substance containing alcohol and produced for human consumption. When reconstituted with water, the substance, which most often takes the form of dehydrated vodka or rum, becomes like any other alcoholic beverage. Powdered alcohol was approved for general sale by the federal government in 2015.
Concerns about the dangers of powdered alcohol made headline news last year. Legislators and the public were worried about the potential for abuse by minors and the ease with which the powder could be smuggled into public events or used to spike the drinks of unsuspecting victims. Forty bills were introduced across the country proposing to ban the product. However, Illinois is only one of a handful of states who have already criminalized the sale of powdered alcohol.
The new law makes it illegal to sell, offer for sale, deliver, receive, or purchase for resale any product that contains powdered alcohol. Violations are charged as Class A misdemeanors, meaning that a conviction could carry a sentence of up to one year in jail, two years of probation, and the payment of a $2,500 fine. For a second or subsequent offense, the crime will be charged as a Class 4 felony, which is punishable by up to three years in prison.
After a high school athlete in Ohio passed away last year of an apparent overdose on powdered caffeine, lawmakers all over the country voiced concern over the sale of the product to minors. This year, Illinois’ new Powdered Caffeine Control and Education Act goes into effect and is meant to address these concerns. The law bans the sale of powdered caffeine to people under the age of 18. Additionally, the law prohibits offering to sell pure powdered caffeine, giving away the substance, or providing free samples to minors.
Like the powdered alcohol law, first offenses of the Powdered Caffeine Act will be treated as Class A misdemeanors, while second or subsequent violations raise the charge to a Class 4 felony.
If you have been arrested for selling, delivering, or purchasing powdered alcohol, or have been charged with providing pure powdered caffeine to a minor, it is important to retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help formulate a solid defense and work to get your charges reduced. Please contact the skilled Naperville criminal defense attorneys at Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC to schedule a free consultation.