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First State to Ban Alcoholic Energy Drinks? Utah

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Four Loko Amid the buzz about Four Loko, recent tragedies on college campuses and new efforts by state regulators to ban alcoholic energy drinks (AEDs) have taken center stage. It turns out another state had already banned alcoholic energy drinks — by not permitting distribution of the products in the first place.

Utah — not Michigan, as we previously reported — was the first state to ban alcoholic energy drinks.

The Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control “listing committee” researched alcoholic energy drinks and elected to keep them off the list of acceptable products for sale, Deseret News reported Oct. 29.

Utah’s forethought meant that Four Loko — and other sugary, premixed, high-alcohol/caffeine drinks — never appeared on the shelves of state-run liquor stores and other alcohol outlets. (Utahans can order the product under certain regulations, but the product is not easily accessible in the state.)

While other states scramble to respond to the Four Loko mess, Utah regulators can take credit for a job well done.

(Thanks to Jim Mosher for the news tip.)

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