Glenn R. Bruno, Esq.
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Working Hard to Protect Your Rights As a Poughkeepsie criminal defense attorney, I have been serving the people of the Hudson Valley for more than 20 years through diligent, assertive and quality criminal defense. I am prepared to put my experience to work for you.

The new alcoholic product that's causing a stir in New York

In a 2014 letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, New York's own Sen. Chuck Schumer urged federal regulators to place a ban on a new product called Palcohol that the senator believed would become "the Kool-Aid of teen binge drinking." To this day, Sen. Schumer still believes that people would undoubtedly abuse Palcohol; and with recent approval from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, it's possible that Sen. Schumer's concern could become a reality down the road.

The fact that Palcohol comes in an easily concealable foil packet is one of Sen. Schumer's top concerns. As he explains in a recent CBS article, Palcohol could easily be slipped into a person's drink, causing that person to become intoxicated without their knowledge or consent. People may also smuggle Palcohol into events where alcohol is not permitted, creating liability issues down the road.

But the biggest concern among our readers though may be how law enforcement will handle cases involving Palcohol. According to Pacohol's FAQ page, the powdered alcohol could be added to foods and other beverages. This begs the question, how would a police officer be able to tell the difference between an innocuous consumable and one containing Palcohol? This could create major issues regarding reasonable suspicion and searches during traffic stops.

The other issue Palcohol could create for our New York drivers is the fact that the product contains 55 percent alcohol by weight, according to the package's label. This number drops to 10 percent when water is added. If a person is not aware of this though, they may consume more alcohol than they intend to before driving. They may think that they are under the limit when they are not, leading to complex and serious criminal charges that will definitely require assistance from a knowledgeable attorney.

Although New York is pushing for a ban on Palcohol sales, one has not been passed in our state at this time. If sales are allowed in our state before a ban is effectively put into place, then our readers may find themselves encountering complex legal situations in the months to come.

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