Earlier today, the Washington State Liquor Control Board imposed a ban on certain alcoholic beverages that contain caffeine, guarana, taurine, or other similar substances. The language of the ban regulation can be found on the LCB’s website. The ban is a direct response to a number of dangerous alcohol-related scares to college students who had been consuming Four Loko, an alcoholic energy drink.
I originally reported that the ban seemed to broad enough to include a prohibition on coffee beers – but it appears that is not the LCB’s intention. Breathe easy, beer lovers.
This law is being implemented under the State’s emergency powers, which provide for expedited regulatory powers in times of need. The law is temporary and will expire in March 2011. Thus, the LCB will be prompted to begin the regular law-making procedure to put together a final, more clear, regulation.
Here is the current language that is being put in place: