Confusing Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Energy Drinks - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Confusing Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Energy Drinks

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KENNEWICK, Wash.--  Energy drinks have come into the mainstream in the past few years, and now alcoholic energy drinks are starting to gain popularity too. Regular energy drinks and energy drinks with alcohol can be very easily confused because they come in cans that look almost identical.  The alcohol content is in very small print on drinks like Sparks or Tilt.

It can be very confusing to people buying the drinks and people working at stores that sell both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions of the canned beverages.   Cashier at a convenience store that sells both, Kathy Blakeman, says, "If you're not really careful you could be selling that to an under-ager. And in fact, I've had kids bring up one energy drink and one alcoholic beverage and try to pass them off together."  Blakeman says the key is knowing which drink is which and looking very carefully at the labels. 

Some stores with scanners are able to scan the barcodes, and if it's an alcoholic energy drink, their computer systems will pop up with a screen prompting them to ask for ID and enter a birth date. Other stores without those, the cashier just has to be very careful and know which drinks a customer must be 21 to purchase.