Washington Bans Alcohol Energy Drinks

Nov 10, 2010

Washington state is banning alcoholic energy drinks. The state Liquor Control Board adopted the new rule this morning. The ban takes effect next week, on November 18th.

It comes after nine Central Washington University students were hospitalized after a party last month. Authorities say they drank the caffeinated malt liquor beverage Four Loko.

Phusion Projects Inc., of Chicago, the makers of the drink,  say the partygoers may have been drinking other types of alcohol. The drinks are marketed to young adults.

Governor Chris Gregoire asked the board to consider the ban.  Attorney General Rob McKenna has asked the Food and Drug Administration to consider whether such drinks are safe.

"If you're a 135-pound woman [and] you drink two of these Four Lokos ... you can reach the level of toxicity for alcohol poisoning," McKenna told KPLU's Anna King after the CWU incident.

A number of universities ar0und the country have banned the beverage from their campuses, including Central Washington, the University of Rhode Island, and Ramapo College in New Jersey, after students became ill.