United States Senator Charles Schumer is calling on New York State to immediately ban the sales of caffeinated alcoholic drinks.
Schumer said Wednesday that the New York State Liquor Authority needs to act quickly to halt sales of Four Loko, which has also been called "blackout in a can".
The canned fruity drink packs the power of several beers and a tall cup of coffee in a 23-point-five ounce can. Schumer wants the state to block sales of caffeinated alcohol drinks that have not been approved by the Food and Drug administration.
"This is more than just a blackout in a can, it's almost a death wish disguised as an energy drink. By adding caffeine to potential alcoholic drinks the effects of the alcohol are masked by the effects of the caffeine" said Schumer. "We are calling on the State Liquor Authority to ban the sale of these drinks in New York and to help stop tragic consequences of too many people drinking Four Loko and suffering in too many ways from it."
"By adding caffeine to potential alcohol drinks, the effects of the alcohol is masked by the effects of the caffeine. As everyone knows normally when you drink you get tired, the more you drink the more tired you get. It's the body's natural defense... to consuming too much alcohol. In other words, you drink a lot, you get tired, you stop drinking. But Four Loko and drinks like it do the opposite. Because they're loaded with caffeine in addition to alcohol, they provide the drinker with increased stamina and energy that allows the person to keep drinking past the point where you would normally stop. To add insult to injury, these companies target teens through their advertising. They make the can look like any other energy drink, charge as little as $2.50 a can, and then many, many store owners stock it right next to energy drinks" Schumer added.
In July, Schumer asked the FDA to investigate the safety of the drinks. Wegmans and Tops supermarkets announced Tuesday that they would pull the drinks from store shelves.
Washington state is banning all alcoholic energy drinks after nine college students were hospitalized following a party last month. The state Liquor Control Board adopted the rule Wednesday morning. It takes effect November 18.
Authorities say the Central Washington University students at the party drank Four Loko.
Schumer says two other states, Michigan and Oklahoma, have also banned the drinks after several young people were hospitalized from consuming Four Loko.
Information from the Associated Press and NBC News was used in this report.