Grain alcohol banned in Maryland from July 1

(WJLA) - It’s the stuff that for generations gave college party punch its “punch:” 190-proof grain alcohol, which is 95-percent alcohol and very flammable.

According to campus safety officials like University of Maryland Police Chief Dave Mitchell, it’s a dangerous beverage:

"When you cant gauge the alcoholic content of what you're drinking, there is a tendency to over-consume -- and when you do that, there is a good chance you're gonna become a victim of a crime."

Too often, Mitchell says that crime is sexual assault, and that is why as of Tuesday, the sale of 190-proof grain alcohol is officially illegal. The law was passed by the legislature and signed by the governor at the urging of several university presidents.

"Anything we can do so that students drink safely and responsibly is a good thing," says UMD President Wallace Loh.

This liquor store manager in College Park learned of the new law only when we told him today. He has since removed his supply from store shelves, but is not particularly happy about having to do so:

"If you start taking away things like grain alcohol, when's it gonna stop? I think if anybody wants to get stupidly drunk, they'll do it however they want to do it," says John Morgan.

Meanwhile, at a campus celebration on Tuesday, students expressed mixed opinions:

"Everclear is a strong drink and it does, it may have people do things they don't normally do -- I have nothing against it being banned," says Samantha Levy.

"If someone wants to get that drunk, they'll consume other stuff instead of just the Everclear," counters Chase Siegel.