WA State Liquor Control Board approves temporary ban on alcoholic energy drinks
OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington State Liquor Control Board approved a temporary ban on alcoholic energy drinks Wednesday that will take effect next week after Governor Gregoire requested the agency vote on the issue.
"We're taking action to keep these drinks out of young people's hands and keep young people out of our emergency rooms," said Gregoire.
Central Washington University President Jim Gaudino already banned products like Four Loko on his campus and applauded the state's decision.
"This category of drinks clearly represents a danger particularly to inexperienced drinkers," he said. "I think the action they took is a very positive move."
The board cited the impact on the health, safety, and well being of citizens as part of the need for a ban. Last month, nine CWU students were hospitalized after drinking cans of Four Loko at a party. Some had a blood alcohol level four times above the legal limit.
"They are known to produce a wide-awake drunk," Gregoire said of the products at a news conference. "Quite simply, these drinks are real trouble for our youth."
The move prevents importing, producing, manufacturing, distributing or licensed retailers from selling alcoholic energy drinks after Nov. 17. The board then has 120 days to try to make a permanent change to state policy.
Gaudino says these products are so harmful he supports a nationwide ban.
"There's just any number of negative repercussions of drinking this category of beverages," he said.