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Caffeinated Booze Four Loko, Not The Date Rape Drug, Put Party Kids In Hospital

It was a fruity, caffeinated alcoholic beverage called Four Loko, not the date rape drug, that sent a gaggle of Washington state college kids to the hospital during a house party on October 8. Police had suspected “roofies” had effed up the Central Washington University students. Instead, it was a 12 percent alcohol malt liquor/energy drink equivalent to six beers that got to these party monsters.

In other words, I thought this story would be a Lifetime original movie, but it turns out it’s an episode of “Jersey Shore.”Police investigating the off-campus CWU party said — oops! — no one had been drugged or sexually assaulted, as previously thought. Initial erroneous reports (which I repeated) said 11 of the victims were women, which fueled rumors that “roofies” like Rohypnol had been used against female partiers. Officials now say six females and three males were sickened and they possibly got so inebriated drinking Four Loko in addition to other booze.

But you can’t blame the cops for being initially confused as to why everyone was so wasted: The party kids had blood alcohol levels ranging from .123 to .35. Now, as we all know from our court-mandated alcohol education classes (kidding), a blood alcohol level above .3 is enough to kill someone. Students were enjoying 23.5 oz. each of “blackout in a can” with classy flavors like watermelon, blue raspberry, cranberry lemonade, lemon/lime, and fruit punch.

If reading all this makes you want to drink a can of Four Loko immediately, act quickly. Adults are going to ruin the fun! New Jersey’s Ramapo College banned Four Loko beverages on campus in September after several students were hospitalized from consuming the drinks. The President of Ramapo is supporting NJ lawmakers who are trying to ban the drinks, which are currently regulated in Montana and Utah and under investigation in Michigan.

Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna (as well as 24 other state attorney generals) has been trying to get drinks like Four Loko regulated more heavily since last year. “They’re marketed to kids by using fruit flavors that mask the taste of alcohol and they have such high levels of stimulants that people have no idea how inebriated they really are,” he told CNN after the Four Loko incident. McKenna said if the FDA doesn’t ban the drinks, he will try to get alcoholic energy drinks banned by Washington’s state legislature.

Four Loko’s parent company, Phusion Projects, issued a terse statement regarding the CWU incident this morning. “No one is more upset than we are when our products are abused or consumed illegally by underage drinkers – and it appears that both happened in this instance,” it reads. “This is unacceptable.” Phusion also pointed out that Four Loko is only mentioned twice in the CWU police report, but other kinds of alcohol, including vodka, rum and beer, are mentioned at least 19 times. The company said it supports keeping Four Loko out of the hands of the under-21s, which at least means they and the angry politicians can agree on one thing:

Kids today just don’t know how to drink.

[Four Loko]
[Phusion Projects]
[Seattle Times]
[NY Post]
[Vancouver Sun]
[CNN]
[Facebook: Four Loko]

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