What is Illicit Liquor?
Illicit liquor, by definition is alcohol produced in an uncontrolled environment such as an open field or at home with low or zero safety standards that is intended for purposes of sale.
Can Such Liquor Kill me?
Yes it can, According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) the figure for alcohol related deaths in India in the year 2012 was a whopping 5478 people killed revealing a 21% rise from an estimated 4547 alcohol related deaths in 2011.
Is it just where I live or does it exist everywhere?
Not just where you live, Illicit or bootleg liquor is a national menace. . If we look at state wise numbers, according to a data analysis conducted in 2012, the state of Maharashtra lead with an astounding 1514 deaths while in a city- wise study the city of Mumbai was in the lead with 166 deaths in the year 2012.
Do people really drink this stuff?
Yes they do. A 2011 report by ASSOCHAM (Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India) estimates that in the year 2015, the rate of alcohol consumption will rise to approximately 19,000 million liters as compared to 6,700 million liters consumed during the year 2011.
OK.. So what is the difference between Alcohol as I know it and this illicit liquor?
There is a big difference! Regulated forms of Alcoholic beverages are produced using ethanol which is a type of alcohol that is otherwise safe for consumption when consumed in moderate quantities. The production of ethanol is a complex and technical process that needs to be carried out in a controlled environment with high quality standards. Illicit liquor manufacturers are unable to replicate this complex procedure and therefore choose to use common household alternatives to ethanol such as nail polish removing fluid, kitchen cleaning fluids and Industrial cleaning liquids. In order to recreate the feeling of light- headedness and euphoria experienced as an effect of ethanol, illicit alcohol manufacturers use substitutes such as methanol and isopropanol which produce the same effects such as ethanol but are extremely dangerous.
WHAT?? Isn’t that poison and dangerous to my health?
It most definitely is! Other health risks associated with the consumption of illicit liquor range from feeling nauseous, experiencing pain in the abdominal region, feeling drowsy, Liver failure, kidney failure, Permanent or Temporary Blindness, Alcohol induced coma and even Death.
OK! That is scarey!! How can I Possibly spot a fake??
Well spotting a fake isn’t impossible. You just need to be alert. These are the most common signs of a fake-
• These bottles are usually worn-out and look old as they have been reused and refilled.
• The seal on the bottle will be of a flimsy quality and can be easily twisted or broken.
• These bottles usually do not carry government holograms with depth field and will not show an illusion of depth when held at a particular angle.
• The packaging will not bear modern QR code stamps.
• The Text printed on the bottles will be blurry as they have been cheaply printed.
• The alcohol will smell unusually strong or spirit like.
WOW ! So what can I do about it if I find one?
The answer is simple- Approach a Brand Protection Service. A Brand Protection Service is an anti- counterfeit product agency that investigates cases of counterfeiting and duplicity and co-ordinates with local law enforcement agencies and consumer forums so that appropriate legal action may be taken. The best and most effective brand protection agencies today is brands and fakes. However we ourselves must also be extremely cautious.
Brands and Fakes has aligned the capabilities of the service delivery eco system with the industry verticals, so that the Brands under various industry verticals and sub verticals are able to get services from expertise in their specific domains.