Some Maryland lawmakers think a smart way to cut back on underage drinking is to restrict sales of malternatives or “alcopops,” soft drink-like alcoholic beverages that appeal to young drinkers.
Maryland’s House of Delegates held a hearing Monday on restricting the sale of such beverages to retailers with licenses to sell beer, wine and liquor, according to The Washington Post.
Last year, the legislature categorized the higher-alcohol content drinks into the same standard as beer, allowing them to be sold at any establishment with a license to sell beer. Such establishments, most notably convenience stores and package stores, are located in densely populated neighborhoods where teens have easy access, according to Delegate Bill Bronrott.
A Marin Institute study found that 47 percent of alcopops consumed in California are consumed by underage drinkers, the report said. House Bill 1180 aims to reduce such behavior by making alcopops harder for teens to come by.