OLYMPIA—Alcoholic energy drinks will be banned in Washington state. The state Liquor Control Board ruled on the ban Wednesday morning. The ban takes effect November 18, 2010.
The ban comes after nine students from Central Washington University were hospitalized after a party in Roslyn last month.
Investigators say one 23.5 ounce can of Four Loko is comparable to drinking 5 to 6 beers. Central Washington University officials banned all alcoholic energy drinks from campus. Even students over the age of 21 cannot consume the beverages on campus.
Washington Governor Chris Gregoire asked the board to consider the ban. Attorney General Rob McKenna has asked the Food and Drug Administration to consider whether such drinks are safe.
Utah was the first state to ban the sale. Michigan, California and Montana have also banned the drinks or provided limited access to them.
Health experts say the caffeine in the drink suspends the effects of alcohol, allowing people to continue drinking long after they normally would have stopped consuming non-caffeninated alcohol.
The students were sickened on October 9 at a home 30 miles from campus. Investigators say no drugs were found in the home.