New legislation from a local lawmaker would require establishments selling alcohol to replace existing signs with signage containing an additional health warning.

State Representative Hank Vaupel of Fowlerville has spearheaded a safety initiative to further inform the public of the dangers of mixing alcohol and pregnancy. Under the legislation, bars, liquor stores, and restaurants would have to include the following language in addition to the currently required language mandated by law: “Pregnancy and alcohol do not mix. Drinking alcoholic beverages of any type during pregnancy can cause birth defects.”

Vaupel, who chairs the House Health Policy Committee, says that this is a very serious issue that results in harmful and damaging consequences to both mother and infant. The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs will be responsible for developing and producing the signs, meaning businesses will not face extra costs in implementing the plan. Bars and restaurants could meet the requirement by putting the notice within their menu.

On Tuesday, the Michigan House of Representatives approved the plan known as House Bill 4112. It now goes to the state Senate for further consideration. (MK)