City panel supports move against high-proof alcohol sales

Oct. 18, 2011

The Greenfield Legislative Committee last night recommended sending a resolution of support to State Rep. Peggy Krusick, who is trying to get a state ban on liquors with alcohol above 160 proof, or 80 percent alcohol.

The Greenfield Common Council is expected to approve the resolution of support Nov. 1.

The council had originally wanted to consider a citywide ban after the death of Jeff Wielichowski, a young Greenfield man who drowned after consuming a punch made with the 190-proof Everclear grain alcohol. But officials found the city doesn't have the power to enact such a ban.

The Wielichowski family lives in Krusick's district. Jeff's mother Luanne is spearheading the drive to clear the shelves of such strong liquors.

In the resolution, the Legislative Committee noted that Jeff Wielichowski is not the only one to die after drinking high-proof liquors and calls such high-proof liquors a threat to public health, safety and welfare.

While the idea of a ban is working in the state Legislature, liquor stores in Greenfield have voluntarily pulled high-alcohol-content liquors off their shelves.

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