Doc: It’s Crazy Kids Can Buy ‘Four Loko’ Energy Drink

Local Stores Caught Selling 12% Alcohol Product To Minors

BRONXVILLE, N.Y. (CBS 2) — Teenagers have been sickened and intoxicated after a buying a boozy beverage that looks like an energy drink.

CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reports there has since been a crackdown — a joint investigation in Westchester County, and a warning to parents about the products.

With bright colors and bold graphics it looks like a can of ice tea or fruit punch.

But the potent mix inside “Four Loko” packs a punch — and drinking it made a 14-year-old Westchester girl sick.

“The parents need to explain to their kids the very dangerous combination of the caffeine with the alcohol,” said Dr. Melissa Weintraub.

Emergency Room doctors at Lawrence Hospital have seen it three times in the last month — teenagers made sick by drinking Four Loko and similar beverages that combine a high alcohol content with caffeine.

To understand just how potent one can of Four Loko is know it has the alcohol of three beers and the caffeine of one cup of coffee, plus a Red Bull.

One of these girls drank two Four Lokos earlier this month. The caffeine buzz delayed her from feeling the effect of the alcohol.

“Before they know it, they’ve consumed the equivalent of six beers which their body’s not accustomed to. All of a sudden the caffeine wears off and they are intoxicated,” Dr. Weintraub said.

Just this week cops sent a teenager undercover to try to buy Four Loko at stores in Bronxville and Tuckahoe.

The Washington Grocery and Deli was busted for selling it illegally to a minor. The clerk said it was a mistake and the store no longer sells the drinks.

“Grocery store owners — anyone who sells this stuff — make sure that it doesn’t get into the hands of minors,” said State Sen. Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester).

Klein is also pushing a bill to change labeling standards so these alcoholic drinks cannot be packaged to look so much like the non-alcoholic ones kids can purchase legally.

Because of the packaging, police said it’s too easy for a store clerk to mistake a Four Loko for an energy drink, and sell it to a minor.

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  • ihatecbs

    you really need to get rid of this video, i dont want me or my friends faces on the internet for just having a little bit of fun, you are all ridiculous.

  • Amber

    Yeah I’m really mad about this too. I’m in SC and they are pulling here too. I love it, its the best $3 spent on a night to feel the effects of alcohol in a totally different way. There are many other drinks as mentioned already in this article why aren’t they being pulled off the shelves? All because someone put a name on the drink they were drinking. Its stupid immature idiots that can’t hold their own and who think they can out drink someone else.

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  • Kimberly

    4 cans has the same effects a snort of cocaine.
    the combination of Taurine, Guanine, and Alcohol is an unhealthy mix. they have found traces of methamphetamine in some. it contains wormwood. which is found in absinthe. which is a drink that was banned in the U.S. for nearly 200 years because of its supposed psychotic effects on people.

    most people I know who drank this regularly get crazy not drunk x|

    • Nick

      Kimberly I would like to see where you found your information that Four contained methamphetamine we all know that would instantly get any company shutdown. Sounds like something you just heard from a friend or made up yourself. Second absinthe cannot cause psychotic events. Just to get the so called visuals or acid like experience from the amount of wormwood in absinthe you would die of alcohol poisoning before ever experiencing any of this.

  • Dash P.

    Paulson, I dont think the industry is pushing it for kids, its still an adult drink, and its only found next to the beer sections of the fridges in the places I ve seen. Im in NYC, and this drink, along with Joose, is next to the beers at all the Duane Reades. Its a section that kids should not even be looking in unless they are just asking to get themselves messed up, whether by grabbing that 40 Oz of Henieken or a 4Loco can.

  • Paulson

    What does this say about an industry that denies focusing their products towards kids and alcoholics? There’s nothing more dangerous than an awake drunk! It’s time to hold the alcohol industry accountable for these practices and begin helping retailers resist marketing them. Help your community….ask your retailers NOT to sell these dangerous products and promise you’ll buy more milk and bread at their store.

  • Dash P.

    ummmm yea a 14 yr old girl? cmon, thats no reason to pull a product off the shelf! Of course a 14 yr old is not gonna be able to handle a drink which has a combination of alcohol and caffeine. Her body cant even handle a regular alcoholic drink from a bar, so this is overkill for them. They should not be allowed to buy the product in the first place.

    This is not the fault of the beverage maker, its the fault of the store for selling it to minors. Ultimately, its the fault of the minors for being stupid enough to drink alcohol at their age, which their body and mind clearly cannot handle.

  • Anton

    kids can get beer and wine too, a lot of clerks don’t care about what they’re selling, just to make a sale. it’s not a surprise or the drinks fault it’s the store policy that needs to be accosted. how can a clerk not know his own stores merchandise? come on. wise up. it’s not the packaging and nobody’s making mistakes. kids know four loko like they know steel reserve or grey goose or any other liquor. kids aren’t stupid. if a store employee doesn’t know he’s selling alcohol to a minor he doesn’t seem fit to be a store employee.

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  • Chris

    Good Job CBS. MATH>YOU! 1 four loco is the equivalent of 6 beers not 3.

    (1 average beer is 4 % alc by volume and 12 FL. OZ. 1 four loco is 12% alc BY VOLUME so the alcohol is indeed 3x as concentrated as beer, BUT the key word is BY VOLUME. Four loco is more like 24 FL. OZ so the amount of alcohol doubles. NICE Fact Checking

    • smartkid

      Chris your dead on here..

  • diana monique

    a lot of the teens where i live enjoy drinking a fourloco. i myself have had my fair share of fourloco cans and after some time ive relaized that theres something very wrong with the effect it has on you. ive seen people get very agressive, blackout, pass out, and even get badly injured. i know drunk is drunk but i rather drink straight from a vodka bottle than drink a four loco. one can could mess you up or give you a buzz but i see people playing russian roulette when they start drinking the alcohol caffeine combination all the time. i just sit and watch to see what kind of drunk i have to attend to that night. obviously taking the drink off the shelf is just dumb but i think there should be more teen awareness of what the drink does to people and the situations you can get in. many dont expect one or even two cans of fourloco make you beyond wasted but they do. anyone drink 3 cans is just making their death bed.

  • mehz

    Its not crazy kids can buy these drinks. Its crazy that the people seeling them the drinks hasn’t been aIts notrrested yet. I honestly don’t see the big deal. im a 110 pound 22 year old female who enjoys the four loko drinks. If they want to take these off the shelves then bars should not be aloud to serve red bull and vodka. And minit markets shouldn’t be aloud to see energy drinks period. Its simple. Don’t sell minors alcolic beverages. Get a grip. And if you can’t handle drinking. Than don’t drink. Again. Simple. Don’t make a big deal out of something stupid. I and many people habe blacked out from drinking…let’s sat captain morgan. Jagr. Smirnoff….let’s take thos off the shelves too while we’re at it? Seriously.

  • Judaires

    New MTV show: 14 and Loco

  • iLL


    • LOL


  • Joel Rifkin

    That’s dumb.. I’ve had these drinks before and they clearly say that that they contain alcohol on the can. It’s either lazy clerks or they just can’t read English….

  • Clitman

    Thanks CBS. Had no idea this drink existed. Now I do, and will get a few for the road.

  • DemsRule

    That’s crazy. But alcohol is intoxicating and ‘poisonous’ for any age – people should realize that and quit getting ‘wasted’.

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