Entries in Four Loko (5)


Teen's Death Again Spotlights Four Loko Danger

Phusian Products(DALLAS) -- Texas authorities have arrested a convenience store clerk for selling the controversial alcoholic energy drink Four Loko to a group of teenagers involved in a car wreck that left a teenage girl dead.

The girl's death came the same week that the federal government called for an investigation of similar drinks that blend alcohol and caffeine, calling them "unsafe."

Satish Phuyal, 22, a clerk at the 6 Pack XPress in Arlington, was charged Wednesday night with selling alcoholic beverages to a minor.

Phuyal is the second person charged in relation to the death of Valeria Rodriguez, 14, who was killed early Sunday morning when the SUV her 14-year-old boyfriend was driving crashed into a guardrail, causing the car to roll over and Rodriguez to be thrown from the vehicle.

Phuyal has not yet obtained an attorney, authorities said.

The boyfriend, whose name has not been released by police, has been charged with intoxication manslaughter.

A third teenager in the car, a 16-year-old boy who also has not been identified, told investigators the group bought five cans of Four Loko, a malt liquor beverage sold in 23.5-ounce cans that contains roughly the same amount of alcohol as four beers and the caffeine equivalent of two to three cups of coffee.

"Any retailer that's selling alcohol to minors is too many," Capt. Capt. Robert Charlie Cloud of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission told ABC News affiliate WFAA-TV. "We're going to do what we can to ensure that that doesn't happen."

On the heels of several states' banning the alcoholic energy drinks from store shelves, the Food and Drug Administration Wednesday sent letters to four manufactures, including Phusion Projects, the maker of Four Loko, telling them that the combination of alcohol and caffeine is dangerous.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Four Loko Lawsuit: Parents Claim Energy Drink Killed Son

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) -- A Florida family is suing the makers of a popular energy drink in connection with their son's death.

Joe and Vicki Keiran say their 20-year-old son, Jason, became intoxicated and wired after drinking at least three cans of the energy drink Four Loko -- the alcohol equivalent of 18 light beers and six cups of coffee.  Each fruit punch-flavored 23.5-ounce can has about 2.82 ounces of alcohol and about 156 milligrams of caffeine.

The Keirans believe the drink caused Jason to become so manic and erratic that he accidentally shot himself.  The family's attorney, Don Van Dingenen, says the Florida State sophomore picked up a friend's gun after partying with his roommates for 30 hours straight on Sept. 17.

"They say he started to act crazy.  He pointed the gun at his head and everyone else.  He said I realize I'm freaking you guys out, take the gun away from me," Van Dingenen said.

The maker of Four Loko had no comment on the Kieran's lawsuit, saying they haven't reviewed it.  But the company sent a letter to government regulators that said they "don't agree with the notion that mixing caffeine and alcohol is inherently unsafe."  The manufacturers also pointed out there are 40 other similar beverages on the market.

The medical examiner's office has not ruled on whether Jason Kiernan's death was an accidental shooting or suicide.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Four Loko Ban Hits State of Washington 

Photo Courtesy - Phusian Products(OLYMPIA, Wash.) -- The state of Washington's Liquor Control Board on Wednesday followed Michigan's lead in banning the drink Four Loko and all other similar caffeinated malt liquor drinks. The move follows an incident in which dozens of Washington college students, who are believed to have consumed the controversial beverage, were hospitalized.

Michigan's liquor control commission banned the retail sale of all alcoholic energy drinks statewide last week, including Four Loko, saying the drinks "present a threat to the public health and safety." Washington's ban will take effect Nov. 18.

Commonly known among college students as "blackout in a can," one can of the fruity liquor malt combines 12 percent alcohol with a kick of caffeine equal to an average cup of coffee. The contrasting effects of consuming alcohol and stimulants conceal the effects of the alcohol. Consumers who can't recognize the effect of the alcohol may drink more.

Many college campuses sent notices to students warning about the potential dangers of alcoholic energy drinks, and some campuses, such as the University of Rhode Island, have banned the drink. Besides Michigan and Washington, a push is underway in New York and Oregon for a statewide sales ban.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Company Defends Its Caffeinated Booze After Students Sickened

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(ELLENSBURG, Wash.) -- The company behind a controversial caffeinated alcoholic beverage that's being blamed for sickening dozens of Central Washington University students said it was the mixing of alcohol and possibly drugs that caused them to become seriously ill.

The aftermath of the party, where police found students passed out all over the house and rushed nine to the hospital, has renewed calls for bans on the drink Four Loko, which combines as much alcohol as a six-pack of beer and the equivalent of several cups of coffee.

Four Loko manufacturer Phusion Projects defended its product in a statement to ABC News, pointing to seven labels on the can warning of the drink's contents and calling attention to the need for identification to purchase.

Authorities who responded to the party said the students were in such bad condition they initially were believed to be the victims of the date rape drug. But police said Monday that toxicology tests on the students found no evidence of drug use.

Police called to the scene of the house party, in Rosyln, Wash., about 30 miles from the university, found young people -- many of them women -- passed out throughout the house and on the front lawn. Police were immediately suspicious that drugs were involved, but interviews with the students and toxicology tests ruled out drugs, police said.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Caffeinated Booze, Not Drugs, Sickened Students at Party

Photo Courtesy - PhusianProducts(ELLENSBURG, Wash.) -- A highly caffeinated but legal alcoholic drink was responsible for sickening dozens, sending nine Central Washington students to the hospital and leading to an investigation of whether the partygoers had been drugged, police said Monday.

Police said some 50 students became sick after consuming large amounts of the controversial but legal beverage Four Loko, which combines as much alcohol found in a six-pack of beer with as much caffeine found in two cups of coffee.

The university announced at a news conference that the blood-alcohol content of students ranged from .12 percent to .35 percent. In Washington, 0.08 is the legal limit for intoxication.

Nine students were hospitalized after the Oct. 8 party at a house where about 50 people had been drinking. Police called to the scene of the house party in Roslyn, Wash., about 30 miles from the university, found young people – many of them women – passed out throughout the house and on the front lawn.

Authorities at the time said they did not believe incident was a result of heavy drinking, but that someone had surreptitiously slipped drugs, possibly date rape drugs, into people's drinks.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio