Wisconsin takes shot at banning 190-proof Everclear

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It was outlawed in Minnesota decades ago, but you can still cross the border into Wisconsin to buy 190-proof Everclear, just about the most potent alcohol available for purchase.

But perhaps not for long. A bipartisan group of Wisconsin Assembly lawmakers plan to introduce a bill that would ban Everclear and other brands of 190-proof grain alcohol, the Star Tribune reports.

“Safeguarding the health and safety of Wisconsinites far outweighs whatever reason there could possibly be for human consumption of intoxicating liquor containing 95 percent or more of alcohol by volume,” Rep. Andre Jacque, R-DePere, wrote in an email to the newspaper.

Everclear "enjoys tremendous brand recognition and a loyal, near cult-status, following," according to its website.

But a mobilized push to ban Everclear in Wisconsin followed the 2011 death of Jeff Wielichowski, 22, who drowned in a swimming pool after consuming a punch made of Everclear, Red Bull and Gatorade. His mother has since goaded lawmakers to outlaw 190-proof alcohol."I need something good to come out of this horrible story," she told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Another teen died in Tennessee in 2011 after doing shots of Everclear.

The Star Tribune notes that Everclear fans include imbibers of the seasonal drink "Apple Pie in a Jar," which calls for Everclear, boiling apple juice, cider, cinnamon sticks and sugar. The newspaper also talks to Ted Bauer, owner of an industrial laser marking company in Hudson, who sometimes uses Everclear to create a chemical reaction in the making of bar codes on stainless steel. He won't drink it, though. “It just can’t be good for you," he told the Star Tribune. "I see what it does to metal.”

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