Four Loko caffeinated booze, not drugs, sickened Washington students at party
A highly caffeinated, but legal alcoholic drink was responsible for sickening dozens and sent nine Central Washington students to the hospital, prompting initial police fears that the party-goers had been drugged, police said today.
Police said some 50 students became sick after consuming large amounts of the controversial but legal beverage Four Loko, which combines as much alcohol found in a six pack of beer with as much caffeine in five cups of coffee.
This is the latest incident involving turbo-charged alcoholic energy drinks like Four Loko. Already such drinks are banned on some college campuses and today the Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna said he would ask the Food and Drug Administration to ban the drinks nationwide.
The university announced at a news conference today in Ellensburg, Wash., that the blood-alcohol content of students ranged from .12 percent to .335 percent. In Washington, 0.08 is the legal limit for intoxication. 0.3 can be lethal.