Wash. State Bans Alcoholic Energy Drinks

The state of Washingon’s Liquor Control Board outlawed alcoholic energy drinks beginning Nov. 18, The Seattle Times reported Nov. 10.

Regulators acted at the request of Washington governor Christine Gregoire in the wake of an October incident where nine Central Washington University students were hospitalized after consuming caffeinated alcohol drinks.

“Reports of inexperienced or underage drinkers consuming them in reckless amounts have given us cause for concern,” Gregoire said. “With hospitalizations and near-lethal blood-alcohol levels, many of these young folks were unaware just how drunk they had become. … Quite simply these drinks are real trouble for our youth.”

The state’s emergency ban will begin Nov. 18 and last 120 days, to give the Liquor Control Board time to prepare a rule that would permanently ban the drinks. The state’s legislature may also consider a ban next year.

The maker of Four Loko, one of the alcoholic energy drinks blamed for the hospitalization of the nine students, issued a statement saying that the ban “does little” to deal with underage drinking on campuses. It argued that the Liquor Control Board did not adequately justify its use of an emergency ban and that other “caffeinated liquor products” would remain on the market.

Michigan, Oklahoma, New York, and Pennsylvania have all either outlawed alcoholic energy drinks or are contemplating a similar move. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently studying the safety and legality of the drinks.

Wash. State Bans Alcoholic Energy Drinks

The state of Washingon’s Liquor Control Board outlawed alcoholic energy drinks beginning Nov. 18, The Seattle Times reported Nov. 10.

Regulators acted at the request of Washington governor Christine Gregoire in the wake of an October incident where nine Central Washington University students were hospitalized after consuming caffeinated alcohol drinks.

“Reports of inexperienced or underage drinkers consuming them in reckless amounts have given us cause for concern,” Gregoire said. “With hospitalizations and near-lethal blood-alcohol levels, many of these young folks were unaware just how drunk they had become. … Quite simply these drinks are real trouble for our youth.”

The state’s emergency ban will begin Nov. 18 and last 120 days, to give the Liquor Control Board time to prepare a rule that would permanently ban the drinks. The state’s legislature may also consider a ban next year.

The maker of Four Loko, one of the alcoholic energy drinks blamed for the hospitalization of the nine students, issued a statement saying that the ban “does little” to deal with underage drinking on campuses. It argued that the Liquor Control Board did not adequately justify its use of an emergency ban and that other “caffeinated liquor products” would remain on the market.

Michigan, Oklahoma, New York, and Pennsylvania have all either outlawed alcoholic energy drinks or are contemplating a similar move. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently studying the safety and legality of the drinks.