UPDATE [15/11/10]: The New York State Liquor Authority has pressured beverages distributors to stop shipping caffeinated energy drinks to the state, effectively banning them. Also, Phusion announced that it will be selling a caffeine-free version of Four Loko.
UPDATE [11/11/10]: Alcoholic energy drinks have now been banned in Michigan, Oklahoma and Washington.
UPDATE [11/10/10]: The State Liquor Control board approved an emergency ban on caffeinated alcohol drinks in a unanimous vote that will take place November 18, and last for 120 days while the board takes steps to make the ban permanent.
Tomorrow the Washington State Liquor Control Board will vote on a proposed ban on alcoholic energy drinks, like Four Loko. These beverages were involved in the hospitalization of several Central Washington University students.
Because the caffeine and other stimulants mask feelings of intoxication, it is easy for those drinking beverages like Four Loko to consume too much too quickly. The health complications linked to alcoholic energy drinks has already led New Jersey’s Ramapo College to ban the substance. Central Washington University’s President James Gaudino has followed suit.
“We need to make sure that we’re sending a strong message to students about the dangers of alcohol energy drinks, and we need to know more about the way it affects health and behavior,” Gaudino told CNN.
However, the makers of Four Loko blame the hospitalizations on underage drinking and the combination of their product with hard liquor. “The unacceptable incident at Central Washington University, which appears to have involved hard liquor, such as vodka and rum, beer, our products, and possibly illicit substances, is precisely why we go to great lengths to ensure our products are not sold to underage consumers and are not abused,” a company statement said last month.