Mayor Rich Gard and the six Riverton City Council members unanimously approved an ordinance to make mouthwash, hand sanitizer, and other items classified as “illegal intoxicants.”

During the regular City Council meeting on March 19th, a 3rd and final reading was discussed for roughly 10 minutes on the issue.

Language in the ordinance would make those intoxicated by substances such as mouthwash and sanitizer punishable in the same way it would if they were drinking malt liquor. Previously, language hadn’t included these products in what was considered illegal. To clarify: these products will still be sold as normal and not considered illegal unless they are being consumed in a way not intended by the manufacturer. 

Ward I councilman Kyle Larsen explained, “My understanding is that this allows our police officers to properly police abusers of mouthwash, hand sanitizer, in the past you could be hooked on mouthwash, you’d be intoxicated, but you couldn’t be cited. All this really does is helps our police officers do what the citizens have elected us to do.”

Mayor Gard told those in attendance that the ordinance was proposed by the Riverton Solutions Committee, which is Riverton Police Department led. The committee aims to help find solutions to alcoholism and substance abuse through the Riverton area.

Riverton City Administrator Tony Tolstedt said this ordinance would help close some “loopholes” created by language that didn’t specifically list these products for crimes while individuals were intoxicated.

During an open comment period, just one Riverton citizen spoke but applauded the council and Solutions Committee for the efforts on the ordinance. The citizen said he believed intoxication issues were contributing to some of the theft that local businesses had been experiencing.

Along with mouthwash and sanitizer, other products listed in the ordinance include glue, paint thinner, gasoline, nail polish, hair products, cooking products, fabric protectors, butane, spray paint, deodorant, and any other toxic substance that is not manufactured for human consumption.

Violation of the new rule could result in 6 months of imprisonment and a fine of up to $750.