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New Maryland Laws Focus on Grain Alcohol, Crime, and Gas Usage

New Maryland laws taking effect July 1 tightened alcohol regulation in some cases, while loosening them for others.

New Maryland laws taking effect July 1 tightened alcohol regulation in some cases, while loosening them for others. File|Patch
New Maryland laws taking effect July 1 tightened alcohol regulation in some cases, while loosening them for others. File|Patch

Bans on some forms of alcohol, while looser restrictions on some sales, are among a slate of new laws that took effect Tuesday in Maryland.

Lawmakers banned the sale of 190-proof grain alcohol, a law aimed at reducing sexual assaults and binge drinking among college students, reports The Baltimore Sun.

Jay Chung, manager of Charles Village Schnapp Shop, told the newspaper the grain alcohol ban is "an exercise in futility." Distillers will likely create lower-proof alcohol, such as 188-proof alcohol, to work around the law.

Vaportinis, which allow users to inhale alcohol through a glass straw, are also off limits, reports The Washington Post.

Montgomery County has two other alcohol-related laws. Hair salons can now serve customers a glass wine or champagne, the Post says, while  microbreweries no longer have to be licensed restaurants to sell their beer, and they can distribute their brews in the county.

Other laws now on the books, according to NBC Washington, include:

Gas tax increase: Maryland’s gas tax increased by less than a penny per gallon. And, the state has increased its tax credit for residents who buy electric vehicles and charging stations.

Crime victims: Residents who have had a family member killed in a homicide should be able to receive help through increased referrals to legal support and mental health counseling services. Email will now be used to notify victims of crime about court cases.

Carbon monoxide detector: Prince George's County resident who have a gas heating system, fuel-burning appliances or an attached garage must install carbon monoxide detectors in their homes.

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