A Recipe for Disaster: Four Loko Will Not be Sold in Maryland

If you have not yet heard about the notorious beverage Four Loko, you are a rarity in the county. Maryland residents, however, are very likely to have heard about the controversial drink. The state lost one of its residents to the dangerous “blackout in a can,” as critics are calling the product.

According to reports, Four Loko is sold in a 23-ounce can, and that one can contains as much alcohol content as about five beers. Along with the one can’s dense alcohol content, it also contains about two Red Bulls’ worth of caffeine. Safety advocates feared that the drink would lead to more DUI cases involving offenders who were misled by the product.

One Maryland family claims that their daughter began acting unlike herself after she drank two cans of Four Loko earlier this month. The 21 year old acted so recklessly after consuming the beverage that she worked around the fact that her friends tried to stop her from driving and got behind the wheel of another person’s truck.

Worried, her friends got the young woman’s mother to try to stop her. Four Loko, however, so significantly altered the driver’s judgment that she refused to stop and got into a fatal car accident as a result of drunk driving. The mother had to witness her daughter’s dead body that was thrown from the car.

What’s unique in this case as far as covering it from a defense perspective is that the person who was literally responsible for drinking and driving is the young victim. But her case exemplifies critics’ argument against Four Loko and why they, along with the victim’s family, want the product banned from stores.

The product’s contents and the danger that one can poses are not clearly advertised. Combining such high levels of alcohol and caffeine is literally a recipe for disaster. While someone might be drunk off of one can of Four Loko, recognizing that fact is harder compared to when one is drunk off of other forms of alcohol. The caffeine in Four Loko makes him or her feel alert enough to drive.

Some states have already banned the product from being sold. The FDA is in the process of testing the product in order to decide whether a national ban is in consumers’ best interests.

As of last week, the family who lost their daughter in the above-mentioned DUI crash had their hope realized. According to a Nov. 17 Associated Press report, the Maryland State Licensed Beverage Association and the Maryland Beer Wholesalers Association agreed to stop selling the dangerous product in the state.


NBC Washington: “Family Fights Four Loko Following Daughter’s Death,” Chris Gordon, 17 Nov. 2010

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