Agreement Will Keep Boozy Energy Drinks Off CT Shelves

With increasing calls from across the country to ban alcoholic energy drinks, Connecticut has worked out a deal to keep them off store shelves here.

The state has reached agreements with liquor wholesalers to voluntarily suspend shipments and deliveries of Four Loko, Four Maxed and Joose to retailers, according to Gov. M. Jodi Rell.

"Across the country, we have read stories about how minors have indulged in these drinks to the point of requiring emergency medical attention. We want to see to it that we do not read about similar instances here in Connecticut," Rell said.

The deliveries will be suspended on Dec. 10.

Four Loko, a caffeinated energy drink, was blamed for nine Central Washington University students being hospitalized last month.

The agreement comes as more and more elected officials are asking to have the FDA to ban the boozy beverage in the United States.

“Several states have already banned the product, while others are considering action, and cities and colleges across the country are concerned,” U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro said. “I strongly urge FDA to consider banning Four Loko if the agency’s investigation confirms the link that consumption of these drinks results in serious health consequences and even death.”

U.S. Senator-elect Richard Blumenthal is also asking the FDA to issue an all-out ban on the drink known as “blackout in a can.”

“Alcoholic energy beverages are a witch’s brew of stimulants and alcohol, creating wide-awake, energized drunks who pose a serious threat to themselves and others,” Blumenthal said in a letter to the FDA. “By masking the effects of alcohol with a stimulant, they encourage risky behavior and dangerous overconsumption -- as has happened in Washington state and elsewhere.”

Last week, Four Loko issued a statement to state and federal regulators.

“While we don’t agree with the notion that mixing caffeine and alcohol is inherently unsafe, we do agree with the goal of keeping adults of legal age who choose to drink responsibly as safe and as informed as possible,” the company said in a statement. “We welcome the opportunity to have a discussion with you about working together to create uniform, industry-wide standards for all liquor and malt-based caffeinated alcoholic beverages.” 

Connecticut's agreement with the liquor wholesalers will remain in effect pending the FDA review of the alcoholic energy drinks.

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