Ramapo College Bans Alcoholic Energy Drink

MAHWAH, NJ (CBS 2 / WCBS 880) – After an alarming spike in student alcohol poisoning cases, Ramapo College administrators are banning the alcoholic energy drink known as Four Loko.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reports from Mahwah

The ban comes after 16 students having been hospitalized with at least half of dozen involving the drink known by the nicknames “liquid cocaine” and “blackout in a can,” reports CBS 2 HD’s Kathryn Brown.

Ramapo College President Peter Mercer says his administration is worried about the high alcohol drink’s emergence on campuses.

“It’s very dangerous. Students who consume it become intoxicated very quickly, and we know it’s been banned at other colleges so we didn’t wait around for toxicology reports. We just banned it right away,” Mercer says.”It concerns us that this product is on the market because it certainly contributes to it.”

The drink comes in a 23.5 ounce can and is equal to drinking three beers, a can of Red Bull and a shot of espresso. Many of the Four Loko flavors contain 12 percent alcohol by volume, making it easy for those with even the highest level of tolerance to become intoxicated.

“I’ve seen guys—very big, who can have a high tolerance for alcohol, drink one and a half of these and not remember their entire night,” says senior Sara Rahimi.

The drinks are sold in a variety of fruit flavors, packaged inside brightly-colored cans and cost only about $2.50 each.

Junior Noah Luogameno says it’s a drink that will keep you up until the early morning.

“It makes you party all night long,” Luogameno says.

Despite its prevalence on campus, most students support the ban.

“I guess I would say I support the ban because they’ve been a dangerous drink around campus lately,” says senior Rob Talalai.

Senior Ricardo Del Carmen also supports the ban.

“I think that’s the right decision because it’s also a slash energy drink so I’m pretty sure it’s gonna hype up,” Del Carmen says.

The problem isn’t limited to college campuses though. Police say a number of Mahwah high schoolers have also gotten into trouble after drinking the potent mix of energy and alcohol.

Mahwah Police Chief James Batelli says Four Loko has been found both on and off high school campuses.

“We’re finding that the liquor stores are selling a tremendous amount. We spoke with one liquor establishment who gets 10 cases a week and sells out in a couple days and can’t get any more,” says Batelli.

He and other local officials are pushing for the state’s attorney general to investigate whether the fruity-energy-drink is being improperly marketed to underage drinkers.

The attorneys general in New York, Connecticut and California are also investigating the drink.


One Comment

  1. Steve-O says:

    Such an over-reaction. The only time I even drink Joose or Four Lokos is when I use them to chase my real liquor. They are no where near as devastating as people make them out to be.

  2. chase says:

    who ever said they have seen big dudes drink 1 and a half and cant remember the night is a complete exateration in order for this news story to have some kind of recognision….i weigh 170 and i can put away 2 and not be that wasted

  3. Mr. Shopright says:

    I live in Mantua township and one night I had two cans of Four Loko and woke up 2 days later in Shawnee, Oklahoma, where I had just bought a boat. Do yourself a favor, pick this stuff up right away. For just $5 your can have the time of your life.

  4. Mellow Yellow says:

    after one of those the other night i was feeling all loco inside, they are good but they will give you a heck of a hangover !
    and it’s probably bad for your heart, i think for now, i’ll stick to Carlo Rossi’s good old wine.

  5. Chantelle says:

    I understand where schools are coming from by wanting to ban the drink due to the large instances of the same issues, however, doesn’t this essentially open the gate to harsh criticisms? So because they drink a can of 4loko instead of going to the bar and getting drunk, its the products fault? I’ve had many 4lokos and never had that problem of blacking out or acting crazy. Its the same with any alcohol, know your limits. I can drink about a half of can of it and be fine, just like if I take 2 or 3 shots. Moderation to alcohol is the key. As many drunk driving crashes and public intoxication citations are issued each year, at some point you have to stop trying to blame the 4loko’s and alcohol, and blame the people drinking them. I’ve even had Everclear, which is probably the worse out of any liquor I have ever tried in my life. At what point do we hold the students responsible for their poor decisions? Its like people don’t even want to blame those students for their own actions. It was their conscious decision to consume that beverage, people should be more aware of what they put in their bodies vs completely blaming the drink.

  6. knoxx says:


  7. Be Concerned About Yourself says:

    Does anyone understand how alcohol is absorbed in the bloodstream? I don’t think you do, so instead of a class on it I urge you to look it up for yourself and you’ll see why a 12% beverage such as this and even wine impacts you quicker than drinking whiskey,cognac or whatever does.

  8. Big Mike says:

    Amazing, some people actually turn this into a political liberal-conservative issue. Grow up!

    The company selling this product has some serious liability. Energy drinks and alcohol can be a dangerous combination to many people’s heart and brain function. When you design a product with the unspoken intent to elevate intoxication in a single can, you’re asking for problems.

    Alcohol is a poison and when you combine that poison with other mind and body altering chemicals, many people can’t handle it. Unfortunately, most people don’t know they can’t handle it until they are suffering from its effects.

    If 16 students required hospitalization from this, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out it’s a dangerous product. For the record, I’m a conservative who wasted too many years of my life due to alcohol. I’m one of the lucky ones who was able to defeat my addiction.

  9. mikeH says:

    Isn’t it simply better to have a doobie with a beer, and a cup of coffee after with your munchies? Why go through all this phony sugary stuff? legalize, regulate and tax marijuana.

  10. a chill dude says:

    ok so 4loko (12%alc, 24oz) v.s a normal shot (40%alc, 1.5oz)
    0.12 x 24 = 2.88 oz of pure alcohol
    0.40 x 1.5= 0.60 oz of pure alcohol
    2.88/0.60 = 4.8 shots in a 4loko.
    + like 2 redbulls and some other nasty stuff.

    yeah its kind of a lot for one tall can, but really 5 shots isnt that much. you just gotta understand that if you can’t drink 5 shots, or if you cant handle a lot of redbullish things, then dont drink it. underage kids should make sure they can kill a six pack before they try it, obviously.

    But seriously, I consistently will play a game or two of snappa (drink 8 beers) and then top it off with a 4loko before I go out at night and I dont even black out. And I only weigh 150lbs.
    So ya if college kids are getting hospitalized for drinking one can they should probably practice drinkin some more… just sayin

  11. bobq says:

    its just as strong as wine 12%

  12. Kyle K says:

    I drink one of these in the morning to get me ready to head off to class. They taste better then coffee and I’m always more outgoing. Then I head back to my dorm at about noon after class and have another to get me thru the day until the parties start later at night. God I love college. Never a dull moment here at Rutgers.

  13. (a Different) James says:

    If you take a drink as strong as wine and consume it like an energy drink, you’re gonna have problems. Especially if it’s 24oz cans. A previously established, common, pattern of behavior when applied to this product, creates problems. No one’s out there chanting “Slam the Merlot!” I don’t know if banning it is the appropriate reaction, maybe education (which is what they’re supposed to do right?) might be a better strategy.

  14. iteezy says:

    The product is clearly marketed towards the young drinker. Just look at the can!

    Anyway, how can a college ban a drink? Were these sold on campus?Its Wrong

  15. Jon says:

    Oh come on, You can put all the warning labels in the world on any product, Make it idiot proof and they will find a better idiot. Look at the millions of warnings on cigarettes and all the media against that now and new people still pick up a pack and smoke.. Most of this comes down to the general college mentality, Get as wasted as possible as fast as you can. If someone tells you not to do something, that is exactly what you are going to do.. If anything this is only going to increase the people consuming it.. Unfortunately for them, they just gave it appeal..

  16. Carl says:

    Maybe a cooffee-cup quantity of caffeine plus 12% alcohol (not that much) is a problem combination.

    But I think it is just as likely that this drink is just the new thing on the block being consumed by the kewl doodz (i.e., idiots), so it is currently the empty can spotted next to unconscious morons, and the conscious morons all point at it and say “that’s the evil thing!” Maybe we should also ban Jersey Shore and Crocks?

  17. David Elliott Lewis says:

    My limit is one but I like them.

  18. Srgfury says:

    Anyone can drink to much. Four loko is just another drink that everyone thinks taste good and they drink to much to quick and they get sick. That is why ppl go to the hospital for alc poisoning, not because of the drink. You can elminate this product but college and teen students will just find another type of alc to drink and get messed up and still have the same problem. Question if your friend came over while you were sick and got sick is it your fault they are sick?

  19. Streeeter says:

    theres more fo those than just that loko. One called CORE is all over California. It’s crazy. I see empty can’s of it all over liquor store parking lots. they can’t wait to drink it i guess. just jammin it donw in street. ban that CORE drink as well. bad juju. all of em will make you a crazy homelss person.

  20. Super Dome Rapist says:

    Can we just have a show of hands so we can end this thing right now!

  21. bhaa says:

    just because you cant control you alcohol and don’t know your limits. Or maybe have no friends to go drink with doesn’t mean you have to hate the drink. If you find that you are one of these people you should try going back to the prohibition error and watch it fail again. For everyone else it is just a mixed drink that is already mixed and put in a can.
    ‘And by the way if someone is trying to get intoxicated four loco is only one of millions of options available. By the way all if abused could put someone in the hospital

  22. pem8man says:

    Why punish the company? Punish the stores that sell it to under age kids. make them look at the Id of the kid better to make sure it isn’t fake. That is where the problem is. Or enforce the on campus drinking. Punishing the company the produced the product is not the answer.

  23. alanwillingham says:

    To whom did you delegate instructing and teaching your 17 year old how to make life decisions? Were there any examples of ethics, morality, personal responsibility, or just plain common sense and respect for the law? Has this 17 year old been allowed to function and interact in our society, or are they housebound? How can such decisions occur, considering your depiction of the total disregard for personal safety or concern for their impact on the lives of others?

  24. alanwillingham says:

    Even if they impose a ban on consumption of various brands of alcoholic beverages, Liberalism will still be allowed to saturate impressionable young minds and have a much longer deleterious effect.

  25. clara says:

    damn i graduated from there in 2004, and I have to tell you if you have half a brain in your head it is not hard to hide contraband of that nature. Trust me one semester I had a hot plate to cook with that i hid with ease, as well alcohol, and some of the green for a couple of semesters. This will send that kind of drinking underground. They do NOT sell alcohol on that campus, in fact they even have policy against alcoholic beverage signs. Last i checked, they just have plain campus security, not campus police so enforcement is there but not as strong as say Rutgers or a similar institution.

  26. Wino Juice says:

    Super end in a super upper…
    Loss of most of the student body prompted the ban.
    MicGill University benefited big from the the Katrina Unversity wipeout and wanted to maintain that gain as long as possible. Good news it doesn’t exist here yet.

  27. Seairail says:

    This sounds like some sort of MUSLIM PLOT against our youth.

  28. Sane One says:

    I have to move to NJ. It is apparently so safe there that the Attn Gen has to fill his day with beer company investigations/

  29. william says:

    Great here comes the “its bad for you Nazi’s” with their ban hammer. Stay out of my life please. Stop trying to make laws to control how I live. Its called personal responsibility. Try it some time.

  30. Founders Child says:

    Besides that the can is 12%. So is Port. How about just banning all alcohol on campus (oh, wait, most colleges do…mine did) and punish the kids who break the law with consequences that show that you’re not fooling around? No….just make another law…that makes it looks like you’re doing something. lol

  31. Founders Child says:

    The funny thing here is that nobody is addressing the fact that THE KIDS ARE ALL UNDERAGE DRINKERS!!!!! It’s already illegal for them to drink, but nobody is blaming the kids!!! LOL!!!! Noo…..blame the alcoholic energy drink, ITS the culprit! lol.

    The right is wrong.
    The left is stupid.
    Vote Libertarian.

  32. Connor says:

    It seems “James” (not Boom) is a all-too-commonly naive conservative whose knack for subtext and subtlety is about as sharp as Palin’s Fox reporting. It’s pretty obvious Boom is somehow affiliated with the company that produces or markets Four Loko. “Responsible company out to make the world a better place” ??? Are you really that ignorant??

  33. seriouslyman says:

    What the difference between this and marijuana? Give these drinkmakers a break, they are just making something the public wants, there is a demand for it, legalize everything people want, it just makes sense.

  34. Talos says:

    I have noticed a trend in this chat, no where is the person who choses to drink this held to account. This drink by law is required to be served to a adult, 21 years of age or older. So am unclear why it is a issue. Its a adults personnal responsibility not government to be a adult. Point of fact..82% of our troops fighting could go to jail for trying to drink this…since there under 21. Enjoy your right to debate.

  35. Chris Donaldson says:

    Judging by the grammar, punctuation, syntax, and spelling errors in many of these posts, most of you idiots need to stay off the loco juice and pay attention to your schoolwork. God help us if some of you are actually student who are going out into the world.

  36. Current Student says:

    Prohibiting alcohol at a college? Great idea! I’m sure that forcing students to drink in an uneducated, dangerous, clandestine manner will GREATLY reduce the amount of alcohol-related incidents. Kudos Ramapo, this one’s on you/

  37. Coop says:

    Let me just say that I am 31 years old and have been drinking since I was 17. I started drinking 4LOKO less than a year ago. It is a wonderful drink to get your night started and get a quick buzz. If people over use it or don’t use it properly it is not the company’s fault, it is the consumers fault. If you buy a car and then proceed to speed and hit a brick wall and die, then who’s at fault? Yours, not the company that sold the item to you. I drink one, sometimes I will drink two 4LOKO’s on nights when I party with friends. If I drank anymore I would black out and not remember, no doubt about it. You can say that for any alcoholic beverage though, drink enough and you will be stupid. Leave 4LOKO on the shelves and let me enjoy this wonderful, cheap drink.

  38. freedom apprentice says:

    boycott ramapo! defend the rights of the company to sell their product wherever they want. defend the rights of the consumer to purchase whatever product they want. let freedom ring!

  39. charles says:

    Thank God there is an alternative to Marijuhana and Cocaine for these kids. This product could save hundreds of thousands of lives a year.

    The drug dealers must be furious about it.

  40. Phil Raintree says:

    Adults should be free to choose, end of story.

    If people go to the college and sign a pledge that is part of their agreement to go to the college they should booted if they violate it.

    Prohibition doesn’t work, it just creates an enormous black market that destroys lives and costs billions to “fight.” (see the current War on Drugs)

  41. Joe says:

    Are you on drugs?? What kind of society do you want to live in?? People like you deserve no freedom, The weak should be eliminated.

  42. Jack says:

    Three beers, a shot of espresso, and a can of Red Bull so what? What drugs did they take with it?

  43. james says:

    Boom–Let me guess. You’re a liberal unable to take responsibility for your own actions. Did I get it right?

  44. Carmel says:

    And they wont legalize pot?

  45. Dan Staskel says:

    Is your kid illiterate? Or just a moron? It is clearly marked as alcohol. Denial that your child actually chose to indulge in alcohol is not a crime, so you don’t have to spin it that your kid was “innocent” and totally duped by his friends. After the first sip he would have known it’s alcohol. Yet kept drinking till he got sick. Again… your kid is stupid or you are not accepting the truth. TAKE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  46. neil says:

    Most places in the world you can drink at 18 and in the UK universities have their own bars.

    1. Relentless says:

      Hey Neil! Though both your points might be valid-why would you look towards other countries in order to establish the stand of the United States of America? We are not other countries, an amazing precedent our ancestors forged with the loss of their lives, their limbs and loved ones. Is it too hard to feel some pride for the country you reside in and hopefully plead allegiance too?
      Oh, also…if you are trying to form a precedent to argue that no matte what these kids at this college can drink whatever, where ever and when ever that so desire- the fact that they may be of legal drinking age, 18 as you stated, that point has been stated a million times over on this blog already and is mute-the school can put forth a set of rules and policies forbidding alcohol and drugs, which this school has and can be read in an earlier post of mine. Take care

    2. Relentless says:

      excuse all the type-o’s…maybe someone laced my punch with that four loco stuff

  47. sarah 14 YEARS old says:

    Im very wild so a few of these cans and Ill get real crazy. i get real wild and rebellious and this helps me express myself I think. My parents say that im 14 and shouldnt drink it, but i do at least once a week and i feel fine usually after i sleep awhile.

    1. Late Night Partier says:

      Honey, if you drank more than 1 can in a night, you would have alcohol poisoning. Think before you post. I have been through countless “Party Safe” seminars, talks, modules, etc. and that amount of alcohol in you (2 cans or more) would put you in the hospital. Four Loko is my favorite non-beer /non-club drink and my friend who is 20, but looks like a 15 year old in stature, blackouts after 1 can. I highly doubt that you have consumed more than 1 can in a night.

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