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PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A new trend in getting drunk has the attention of law enforcement agencies, as it makes its way to North Carolina. Experts say people are using alcohol vaporizers to get drunker faster.

A couple of years ago there was a similar device used in the same way that was quickly outlawed.

Law enforcement officers say a woman in Chicago started selling alcohol vaporizers in 2009 at the bar she owns. The trend grew from the popularity of other inhaling devices like hookahs. The Vaportini is continuing to spread quickly.

Pender County Sheriff’s Sgt. King, who did not want to use his first name or show his face because of his undercover work, says it is more dangerous than drinking alcohol.

“How it operates is when you inhale the fumes it goes into your lungs, into the lung tissue and goes directly into the blood stream. Just the same way if you were drinking alcohol. It just gets there quicker,” King said.

State Trooper Bryan Phillips says the body cannot detect when you have had too much. The same intoxicating effects are felt.

Some think they can get away using the Vaportini because you cannot smell the alcohol. Experts say it is easy for someone to overdose from the Vaportini.

“It’s more dangerous, because it goes immediately into the blood stream through your lungs, so you have the immediate intoxicating effects aside from if you were sitting down drinking a cocktail,” Sgt. King said.

King says users are buying them online, because they are not sold in local stores.

Trpr. Philips says inhaled alcohol can be detected, and anyone under the influence will still be charged as usual.

Comment on this Story

  • PhilipJ

    Alcohol abuse is rampant all over this state and country. The U.S. governed Alcohol Cartel is getting out of control.

    Has anyone noticed the rise in incidents of alcohol-fueled auto accidents,fights,murders,child neglect, etc.?

    Alcohol, unfortunately, is THE government-sanctioned recreational drug of choice. When you consume alcohol, you are contributing to the dire effects of the U.S. Government Alcohol Cartel.

    The consumption of alcohol is a serious social problem, and as a resident of downtown Wilmington I see drunks getting behind the wheels of cars every weekend.

    We need more police check points to issue more DWIs. It’s high time that drinking is condemned as vociferously as smoking. Besides, drinking alcohol is far more dangerous to our health. If the alcohol does not damage our livers, a drunk driver will kill us on the highway.

    “Just say no to alcohol.”

  • ChefnSurf

    You’re hinting about reinstutionalizing prohibition … That’s not going to happen again.

  • GuestVader

    Don’t bother to try and control the sales or use of this gadget. Simply enforce the laws we already have. If there is alcohol in the bloodstream, it will be detected.

  • Brian

    Amazing. I don’t drink to get drunk, I drink because I like the taste of whatever I’m drinking. This thing makes no sense to me. I say make them widely available and let natural selection cull the herd.

  • Vog46

    (Boy I know nothing about this)
    If I inhale this stuff, as opposed to drinking the stuff does it show up in a breathalyzer test the same way as ingesting it?


  • guesty

    From the story: “Trpr. Philips says inhaled alcohol can be detected, and anyone under the influence will still be charged as usual.”


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