For 9 Central Washington University students, an off-campus party ended in the hospital after they consumed the alcohol-caffeine cocktail Four Loko and were diagnosed with blood alcohol levels up to 0.35%.
The mostly under aged students consumed the alcoholic beverage that contains 12% alcohol. Chief Steve Rittereiser, Central Washington Univ. Police Dept, reports: "Our investigation showed that every one of them that were hospitalized had drunk Four Loko. Now remember, that Four Loko is not only 12% alcohol but also has the equivalent of a couple of shots of espresso."
The president of the university responds with a liquor ban of all alcoholic energy drinks and an education agenda that will teach students about the danger of such drinks. Alcoholic energy drinks are easily available in convenient stores for fewer than two dollars which makes them even cheaper than beer.
An addicted adolescent points out: “I liked the taste of the energy rush you got off of it, more than like a beer -- kind of slows you down.” The energy component of the drink even encourages its consumers to not feel tired and keep drinking.
Health officials in California and Washington are now scrutinizing the health risks and advertising strategies of the drink.