By Paris Jackson
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A few well-known drinks popular among students on college campuses have been banned. Alcohol and caffeine mixed beverages are now illegal to sell in the state of Alabama. The Alabama alcoholic beverage control board banned the malt drinks in February.
The ABC board sent out notices to Alabama distributors about the ban. Many manufacturers have now re-formulated these drinks taking out the caffeine.
The popular alcohol drink, Four Loko, was known as “black out in a can” or “liquid crack”. Last year, the drink contained caffeine and 12% alcohol, which experts say is a dangerous combination.
“One of the problems with these types of drinks is that they’re very high in caffeine and very high in alcohol. What you end up having is what people are calling, a wide awake drunk,” UAB Nutrition Sciences Assistant Professor, Beth Kitchin.
Following a warning from the FDA, the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Board issued a ban on the sale of caffeinated alcohol beverages in the state. An effort registered Dietician, Beth Kitchin says was the best move because of the effects those beverages have on inexperienced drinkers.
“They think I’m fine. I can go drive. I can do all the things that I would normally do. Or I might even drink more because I don’t feel, like I’m drunk. And that’s a very dangerous combination,” said Kitchin.
The danger hit a peak in 2010, when several Western Washington University students were hospitalized after mixing, Four Loko, with hard alcohol. However, reaction is mixed on the University of Alabama-Birmingham campus.
“I think it should be banned because it’s like an energy drink and alcohol mix and I don’t think that’s a good mixture,” UAB student,Mary Frances.
“Students are going to find something else to drink regardless. If it’s banned or not,” said UAB student, Tisa Low ski.
“I’m surprised that they got mad, like that. Cause like, I didn’t know how serious it was. It makes you think why are they getting banned?” said UAB student, Trevor Scott.
What you will find now on store shelves is a re-vamped version of these drinks, like Four Loko, without the caffeine, making the drink legal.