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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spin Control

Gregoire, McKenna back ban on alcoholic energy drinks

The state Liquor Control Board announced a ban on alcohol laced energy drinks like Four Loco, and quickly received backing from Gov. Chris Gregoire and Attorney General Rob McKenna.

The board issued an emergency 120-day ban Wednesday, and is looking at a permanent ban next year. The action follows an incident in which nine Central Washington University students became violently ill after drinking caffeinated alcoholic beverages at a party last month.

"Quite simply, these drinks are trouble," Gregoire said in joining Board Chairwoman Sharon Foster for the announcement of the ban. "By taking these drinks off the shelves we are saying 'no' to irresponsible drinking and taking steps to prevent incidents like the ones that made these college students so ill."

"This dangerous combination results in young people drinking way too much, way too fast -- and waking up in local hospitals with alcohol poisoning," McKenna said, noting that he and other a-g's have been working for a nationwide ban on the drinks nicknamed "blackout in a can."

Three other states have banned sales in the last week.

But if the state is banning all sweet-tasting, caffeinated alcohol drinks, can a crackdown on Irish coffee be far behind?

Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981 and retired in 2021. He is currently the political and state government correspondent covering Washington state.

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