A study published Nov. 12 in "Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research" suggested an association between alcohol abuse and the consumption of energy drinks. However, the study did not find a cause-effect relationship nor did it involve premixed drinks like Four Loko. The Department of Emergency Medicine at Wake Forest University in N.C. found that students who consume alcoholic energy drinks were more likely to take part in alcohol-related incidents according to a 2008 study. However, the chance of such incidents still remained at a low 5 percent. But even if the scientists are not in complete agreement, what is the response of our legal system?
The difference in treatment of premixed drinks from traditional drinks may lie in the legislature. Five states have banned he sale of alcohol mixed energy drinks. Proponents of the law claim that these premixed beverages encourage binge-drinking. Drinks containing the stimulants taurine, guarine and caffeine are perceived to appeal to younger drinkers because it tastes like a soft drink. It is argued that younger consumers will not realize that they are intoxicated when they get behind the wheel.