YouTube is a video-sharing site that is infinitely popular with younger generations. It is also the place where trends or "crazes" not only begin, but are spread across the nation like wildfire. Planking, T-Bowing or The Harlem Shake are some that prompt laughter. Others are a little less innocent.
One of the latest trends that has been spotted on YouTube could lead to some serious criminal charges, such as drunk driving or underage drinking -- even though they don't involve drinking any alcohol. The readers of our New Jersey Criminal Law Blog may be a little confused about what we are talking about. In these cases, the alcohol is being consumed in unconventional ways.
The first trend involves altering the chemical state of the alcohol. Instead of drinking liquid spirits, individuals are inhaling "Vaportinis." The alcohol is heated into a gaseous state. The vapors are then inhaled.
Another trend is called "eyeballing." This trend does not involve the alteration of the chemical state but instead the body organ that is doing the "consuming." Yes, people are drinking alcohol through their eyes, pouring it across their corneas.
With these types of alcohol consumption, there are some things that those participating in the behavior should take into consideration. One factor is the damaging effect that these forms of "drinking" can have on the body.
For example, medical experts warn about the toxicity of the alcohol on the sensitive soft tissue of the eye. It could cause not only severe pain but ulcers, scarring and loss of vision.
Another concern is not just over how it "medically" damages the body. These new ways of consuming alcohol also increase an individual's blood alcohol level at a rapid rate. Those who "drink" the liquor may become intoxicated almost immediately, and they may be unable to judge how much alcohol they are actually consuming.
In New Jersey, law enforcement officers are not going to care how the substance was consumed when making an alcohol-related arrest.
Source: Mount Olive Chronicle, "Troubling new ways to drink," Phil Garber, Aug. 9, 2013