The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division is hoping to get educational information out this week on the dangers of pre-mixed energy drinks. A-B-D spokesperson, Tony Dusold, says they’re concerned about the size and mixture of the drinks. She says a lot of them contain up to 12% alcohol and most come in a 24-ounce can.
“That means in a single can you’re getting the same amount of alcohol that you’d get in four to six cans of regular beer, on top of that, caffeine as well,” Dusold says. While the state oversees alcohol sales, Dusold says they do not have control over the sale of these drinks because they are classified as malt liquor.
Dusold says they regulate the distributors of the drinks, but as long as the product is legal, they don’t have any say over them. Dusold says the big concern is the caffeine in the drinks keeps you from getting sleepy like you normally would while drinking alcohol.She says it doesn’t negate the effect on your motor skills, coordination, cognitive processes and reaction time.
Dusold says that reduce perception of intoxication may leave you feeling that you’re not drunk and you may keep drinking until your blood alcohol level gets to a dangerous or even lethal level. Dusold says the caffeine keeps you up longer and you drink more and that can lead to blackouts, alcohol poisoning and severe negative effects.
One of the popular pre-mixed drinks is called “Four Loko.” Dusold says though, they aren’t the only concern. She says the pre-mixed drinks are getting a lot of attention, but you can have the same problems if you mix your own drinks at home or get mixed drinks at a bar that use the caffeine products. Dusold says one of the big problems with the pre-mixed drinks is that they come in 24-ounce cans, and you don’t get that in a bar or at home.
The A-B-D is putting together education information that shows the impact of the caffeinated beverages that they hope to send out this week.