California Assembly bans caffeine-laced beer drinks

on 15/07/11 at 11:55 am

Booze News

The California Assembly moved Monday to prohibit the production and sale of beer laced with caffeine and join other states concerned the beverages are aimed at young people and make it easy to drink too much.

The ban was approved on a 43-24 vote. It passed the state Senate in April but that chamber must now reconsider changes made by the Assembly before the bill can be sent to the governor.

The bill, SB39, would ban the import, production, distribution or retail sale of beer and related alcoholic beverages that have caffeine added. At least six other states have passed similar bans.

The measure by Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, targets beverages that have been banned on some college campuses after incidents of alcohol poisoning and blackouts among students.

The drinks are often fruit-flavored and marketed in ways that appeal to young people. Studies have found that they’re often cheaper than energy drinks without alcohol, Padilla said after the vote.

“The added caffeine masks the effects of the high alcohol content, which can lead to binge drinking and dangerous behavior,” he said.

Opponents of the bill noted that college students under 21 who drink alcohol are already breaking the law, and that Irish coffee combines alcohol and caffeine but no one is proposing a ban on that drink.

{FULL STORY via Mercury News}

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