Is Everclear Legal in California?

Is Everclear Legal in California

The short answer is yes, Everclear is legal in California, with some restrictions. Everclear is a high-proof grain alcohol that has gained a notorious reputation due to its potent alcohol content. While Everclear is permitted for sale and consumption in the state, there are specific laws and regulations that Californians must be aware of when purchasing and using this powerful spirit.

In this article, we’ll examine the state’s restrictions on Everclear, explore how it compares to other states, and discuss the safety considerations around this controversial liquor. We’ll also provide guidance on where to find Everclear within the state.

What is Everclear?

Everclear is a brand of rectified spirits, also known as grain alcohol or neutral spirits. It is made from 100% selected grains and is distilled to an extremely high proof, resulting in a clear, flavorless, and highly potent alcohol.

The most well-known variant of Everclear is the 190-proof (95% alcohol by volume) version, which has become synonymous with high-strength grain alcohol. However, Everclear is also available in lower proof versions, such as 151-proof (75.5% ABV), which are more widely accepted and distributed.

Everclear’s potency and reputation as a “party spirit” have made it a controversial product, with some states choosing to restrict or even ban its sale due to concerns over public safety and responsible consumption.

California State Laws on Everclear

In California, the state’s laws and regulations regarding grain alcohol, including Everclear, are as follows:

Proof Limits on Grain Alcohol

California has set a proof limit of 151 on the sale of grain alcohol within the state. This means that any grain alcohol product, including Everclear, that exceeds 151 proof (75.5% ABV) is not legal for purchase or possession in California.

The 190-proof variant of Everclear, which is the brand’s most potent offering, is therefore prohibited in the state. However, the 151-proof version of Everclear is permitted for sale and consumption.

Purchase Restrictions

California, like many other states, has set the legal drinking age at 21 years old. This age requirement also applies to the purchase of grain alcohol, including Everclear. Retailers are required to verify the age of customers before selling any high-proof spirits to ensure compliance with the law.

It’s important to note that while Everclear is legal in California, the state’s laws may vary from county to county or even city to city. Some local jurisdictions may have additional restrictions or bans on the sale of high-proof grain alcohol, so it’s always a good idea to check with your local authorities before attempting to purchase Everclear.

Regional and Local Restrictions on Everclear in California

In addition to the statewide regulations, certain regions or local jurisdictions within California may have their own restrictions or bans on the sale of Everclear.

County and City-Level Bans

While Everclear is generally legal in California, some counties or cities within the state have chosen to implement their own bans or additional restrictions on the sale of this high-proof grain alcohol.

For example, in San Francisco County, the sale of Everclear with an alcohol content exceeding 151 proof (75.5% ABV) is prohibited. However, in Los Angeles County, no such restrictions exist, allowing residents to purchase Everclear without any limitations.

These local-level bans can be implemented to address specific concerns or issues related to the consumption of highly potent spirits like Everclear.

College Campus Policies

Colleges and universities in California may also have their own policies regarding the possession and consumption of Everclear and other high-proof alcohols on campus.

Many educational institutions have implemented strict alcohol policies that prohibit the use of spirits like Everclear, even if they are legal to purchase and consume off-campus. These policies are often put in place to promote responsible drinking and minimize the risks associated with the consumption of high-alcohol-content beverages.

Students should familiarize themselves with their college’s or university’s specific alcohol policies to ensure they are aware of any restrictions on Everclear or other grain alcohols.

How California Compares to Other States

When it comes to the legality of Everclear and other high-proof grain alcohols, California’s approach is not unique. The regulations and restrictions on these types of spirits vary significantly across the United States.

States Where Everclear is Banned

While Everclear is legal in California, with some limitations, there are several states that have outright banned the sale and possession of this powerful grain alcohol.

States where Everclear is illegal include California, Hawaii, Florida, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Washington. These states have chosen to prohibit the sale of Everclear, often citing concerns over public safety and health risks associated with the consumption of such a potent spirit.

Restrictions in Other States

Even in states where Everclear is legal, there may be additional restrictions in place. For example, in Ohio, only Everclear with an alcohol content of 151 proof (75.5% ABV) or lower can be sold, while higher proof versions are prohibited.

The specific regulations on Everclear and other grain alcohols can vary greatly from state to state, so it’s essential for consumers to familiarize themselves with the laws in their respective locations before attempting to purchase or consume these products.

Safety Concerns and Risks of Everclear

The high alcohol content of Everclear has led to significant concerns over the safety and potential risks associated with its consumption. These concerns have been a driving factor behind the bans and restrictions implemented in various states.

Dangers of Alcohol Poisoning

One of the primary concerns with Everclear is the risk of alcohol poisoning. Due to its extremely high alcohol concentration, consuming even a small amount of Everclear can lead to dangerous levels of intoxication, potentially causing confusion, vomiting, seizures, and in severe cases, coma or even death.

The risk of alcohol poisoning is not limited to Everclear alone, as any high-proof alcohol can be dangerous if consumed irresponsibly. However, the potency of Everclear heightens these concerns, and responsible consumption is paramount.

Calls for Tighter Regulations

Advocacy groups and public health organizations have called for tighter regulations on the sale and distribution of Everclear, as well as other high-proof grain alcohols. These calls for increased regulation stem from the potential harm and public safety risks associated with the use of these products.

While Everclear is legal in California, with specific proof and purchase restrictions in place, the ongoing debate over the appropriate level of regulation for these types of spirits may lead to further changes in the future.

Purchasing Everclear in California

For those in California who are of legal drinking age and wish to purchase Everclear, there are a few options available:

Where to Buy Everclear

Everclear can be found at many liquor stores and some larger supermarkets throughout California. The 151-proof variant is the most widely available, as it is the highest proof version that is legal for sale in the state.

It’s worth noting that not all liquor stores may choose to carry Everclear, as the high-proof spirit may not be a high-demand item in some locations. It’s always a good idea to call ahead or check online to verify the availability of Everclear at your local retailer.

Verifying Proof and ABV

When purchasing Everclear in California, it’s crucial to verify the proof and alcohol by volume (ABV) of the product. As mentioned earlier, the 190-proof version is not legal for sale in the state, so you’ll want to ensure you’re buying the 151-proof variant or a lower-proof Everclear product.

Checking the label and confirming the proof and ABV information will help you make an informed decision and ensure you are complying with California’s laws regarding grain alcohol.


In conclusion, Everclear is indeed legal in California, but with some important caveats. The state has set a proof limit of 151 on the sale of grain alcohol, effectively prohibiting the 190-proof variant of Everclear. Additionally, there are purchase restrictions in place, requiring buyers to be at least 21 years old.

While Everclear is generally permitted in California, certain regions or local jurisdictions within the state may have implemented their own bans or additional restrictions on the sale and possession of this high-proof spirit. College campuses may also have their own policies regarding the use of Everclear and other potent alcohols on campus grounds.

It’s crucial for Californians to be aware of the specific laws and regulations surrounding Everclear in their local area, as well as the potential safety risks associated with the consumption of this powerful grain alcohol. By understanding the legal landscape and exercising caution, individuals can safely enjoy Everclear and other high-proof spirits in accordance with the law.

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