Alcoholic Energy Drinks Banned by Some States

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Students nationwide have been getting sick from alcoholic energy drinks, spurring several states to ban them, according to USA Today.

After nine Central Washington University students got ill, Washington State restricted the sale of products that combine “beer, strong beer, or malt liquor with caffeine, guarana, taurine or other similar substances,” the Seattle Post-Intelligencer explains.

Utah, Oklahoma, Montana and Michigan have also restricted the sale of caffeinated malt liquors.

As JJIE.org reported this week, the Cobb Alcohol Taskforce is fighting for a ban on alcoholic energy drinks. Taskforce members complain that manufacturers market the cheap drinks (about $3 per 24-ounces) nicknamed “blackout in a can” and “cocaine in a can” to young people using fruit flavors that mask the taste of alcohol. The caffeine, they say, initially disguises the effect of the alcohol content, leaving most drinkers (especially young, inexperienced ones) unaware of how drunk they may be.

Check out JJIE.org’s energy drink quiz to see if you can recognize the difference between alcoholic energy drinks and regular energy drinks.

Researchers from the University of Florida studied the adverse effects of consuming alcoholic energy drinks. The study found that while the average blood alcohol level for people who drink energy cocktails was 0.109, the average BAC for those who drank alcohol was 0.081. Here are other findings from the study:

  • Among college drinkers, about 28% consume alcohol mixed with energy drinks in a typical month.
  • Those who drink energy cocktails were three times more likely to leave a bar highly intoxicated.
  • Alcoholic energy drinkers drank for longer periods of time.
  • They were four times more likely to drive after drinking than bar patrons who drank alcohol only.

These findings were released in the April 2010 issue of Addictive Behaviors. Data was collected in 2008 from more than 800 randomly selected people leaving college bars between 10pm and 3am.

If you want some free training, check out a webinar on Friday from Outside the Classroom, an organization focused on alcohol prevention research. The webinar is at 1pm Eastern Time. Click here to register.

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