SALT LAKE CITY — State lawmakers took the first step toward outlawing powdered alcohol mixes Monday.
The House Business and Labor Committee unanimously endorsed HB48, which would make it illegal for people or retailers to possess, use or sell powdered alcohol. The bill now goes to the House floor.
"This is simply trying to get ahead of what Time magazine called a public health nightmare," said the bill's sponsor, Rep. Steve Eliason, R-Sandy.
The freeze-dried alcohol in powder form could be easily misused or abused, Eliason said. It could be mixed in a water bottle or soda can and concealed at concerts or sporting events, he said. It could also be sprinkled on food.
Eliason said he wants to keep it out of the hands of young people. Powdered alcohol also would make it difficult for police to enforce Utah's open container laws, he said.
Several states have already banned powdered alcohol, which Eliason said the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms initially approved but revoked when product labels did not match the contents. Approval, though, could come this spring.
— Dennis Romboy