skip to main content









Donation Heart Ribbon

Assembly Bans Caffeine-Fueled Alcoholic Drinks

Aired 7/12/11 on KPBS Midday Edition.

Assembly Bans Caffeine-Fueled Alcoholic Drinks

— The California Assembly has voted to ban the drinks known as "blackout in a can." Caffeinated alcoholic beverages are especially popular among college kids.

The beverages are sold in colorful cans just like regular energy drinks. But a 23-ounce serving contains nearly as much alcohol as five beers, and as much caffeine as two cups of coffee.

Dr. Shawn Evans is chief-of-staff elect at Scripps Mercy Hospital in La Jolla. He said alcohol and caffeine are a dangerous mix for young people.

"In many cases you have a wide-awake drunk," Evans pointed out. "It has been shown in studies that they'll stay at a table longer. So these are folks who will drink more, who are wide awake and drinking, and ultimately can confuse themselves into thinking they're more alert than they really are."

At least six states and several college campuses have banned the drinks, which have been linked to blackouts and alcohol poisonings. A bill to prohibit the products in California will head to the governor's desk soon.

The Food and Drug Administration has warned the makers of Four Loko and three other major brands of malt liquor beverages that caffeine is an unsafe food additive.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.


Avatar for user 'jakeromero'

jakeromero | July 13, 2011 at 10:30 a.m. ― 5 years, 8 months ago

More nanny state baloney. Ban the product entirely instead of funding alcohol education programs.....typical. Also, what about personal responsibility. Young people today are extremely marketing savvy. This is wasted effort on legislation that will accomplish nothing....let me tell you why.

The whole start of this craze began with the bar scene and the popular mixing of red bull and (insert alcohol of choice here). These caffeinated alcoholic beverages just make it easier and cheaper to put the two together. There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, short of banning the sale of redbull/RockStar/Whwtever and all alcohol, that will stop young people from combining the their the dance a frat party.....period!

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | July 13, 2011 at 10:50 a.m. ― 5 years, 8 months ago

The same CA Assembly that voted for the Ammiano Bill???

Why do the social double standards not surpirse me?

( | suggest removal )