Drinks Packing More Than Pep

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Energy drinks with a boost of booze are in the crosshairs of 30 attorneys general, including Ohio’s Marc Dann.

The top state legal officers want the Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau to crack down on manufacturers who market the hybrid drinks to underage consumers or who suggest the drinks are less intoxicating than beer.

The beverages -- like Bud Extra, Sparks, Tilt and Rockstar 21 -- have as much or more alcohol than beer and malt beverages, along with stimulants such as caffeine, guarana and taurine. Some are sold in cans that resemble nonalcoholic energy drinks like Red Bull and Rockstar.

A spokesman for the federal agency said it was reviewing the request. A spokesman for the Beer Institute, a national trade association, noted that beer manufacturers do not market to children.

Check out James Nash's Dispatch story.