Omaha Public Radio News
1:59 pm
Wed November 17, 2010

Project Extra Mile seeks ban on caffeinated alcohol drinks

Omaha, NE – A coalition that seeks to stop underage drinking hopes the state of Nebraska will take action on alcohol energy drinks.

Those drinks, whose brand names include Four Loko and Earthquake, combine caffeine with up to 12-percent alcohol. The FDA ruled Wednesday that those drinks pose a public health concern. Project Extra Mile executive director Diane Riibe says the drinks are appealing to teens, and dangerous. "What we know is they're cheap, they taste very good to kids, and they're marketed to kids. And so they're very accessible, so it's a market they clearly went after and the companies got that market pretty quickly, so it gives kids a pretty quick high, and certainly the caffeine in it keeps them awake and they continue drinking," Riibe says.

Riibe says Project Extra Mile wants Attorney General Jon Bruning and the Liquor Control Commission to work together to ban the alcoholic energy drinks. 17-states currently have a ban on caffeinated alcoholic beverages.

The makers of Four Loko announced Tuesday they'll remove caffeine from their drinks.