In an emergency Saturday session the Oregon Liquor Control Commission approved a temporary ban of caffeinated alcoholic energy drinks, including the infamous Four Loco, one of several brands of alcoholic beverage laced with caffeine.
Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) officials voted 4 to 1 in favor of banning alcoholic energy drinks from being sold in the state of Oregon – effective immediately.
The OLCC is following the lead of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which last week ordered several brands to remove caffeine from their drinks.
Recently a half-dozen college students were rushed to the hospital after downing alcoholic energy drinks, bringing the high octane beverage to national attention.
There is a public health concern about the effects of the combination of caffeine and alcohol, that caffeine and other stimulants placed in the alcoholic beverage encourages binge drinking by preventing consumers from realizing how intoxicated they might be.
OLCC Chairman Philip Lang released the following statement Saturday afternoon:
“The OLCC has been concerned about the health risks of these products for some time. It’s unfortunate that so many young people around the country were hurt by these products. We’re glad that we can play a role in preventing that from happening here in the future.”
The ban will be effective until May 18. In the meantime, the OLCC will discuss permanent rules on alcoholic energy drinks.
Oegon Governor Ted Kulongoski released a statement praising the ban of the sale of alcoholic energy drinks:
“I applaud the OLCC for taking the very necessary step of halting access to these dangerous beverages.”
Oregon is one of several states in the country to ban the drinks.
What do you think? Should the state ban these caffeinated – alcohol fueled beverages? Is the ban too much nanny state? Or is it just common sense, good policy, and best practice?