Bill would ban high-potency alcohol like Everclear

CREATED Dec. 31, 2013

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Jeff Wielichowski drowned in his family's pool after drinking a combination of 190-proof grain alcohol Everclear, Gatorade and Red Bull.

Now the 22-year-old's mother is working with Wisconsin lawmakers on a bill that would ban the sale of such high-potency liquor. Luanne Wielichowski says she hopes it passes in 2014 so no one else dies like her son did.

Changes to liquor laws are a tough sell in alcohol-friendly Wisconsin, a state with the third lowest beer tax nationwide and a strong booze lobby. While support is building for the ban, at least one powerful group plans to try to stop it.

Wisconsin Grocers Association president Brandon Scholz says the group will likely oppose the bill out of concerns it would open the door to other products being banned.