Saturday, July 13, 2002

Taft OKs sales of high-alcohol beer


Overturns limit of 7.5 percent set by law created at end of Prohibition

The Associated Press

        COLUMBUS — Beers with higher alcohol contents can be sold in Ohio under a bill signed into law by Gov. Bob Taft on Friday.

        The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jim Trakas, an Independence Republican, changes the definition of beer in Ohio to include ale, porter, stout and other fermented drinks brewed from malt or a malt substitute. It sets the upper limit of alcohol in beer at 12 percent by volume.

        Most major brands of U.S. beer have between 3 and 5 percent alcohol by volume.

        The bill overturns a 1933 law created at the end of Prohibition that set the maximum alcohol limit in beer at 6 percent by weight or 7.5 percent by volume.

        Also Friday, Mr. Taft signed bills that:

        • Make it illegal for people younger than 21 to be under the influence of alcohol.

        Minors already are not permitted to order, pay for, share in the cost of, attempt to purchase, consume or possess beer or liquor.

        The bill's sponsor, Rep. John Willamowski, a Lima Republican, said it closes a loophole that made it legal for minors to be under the influence of beer or liquor.

        • Prohibit firing a gun within 1,000 feet of a school building. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Kirk Schuring, a Canton Republican.

       



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