Baltimore Bans Caffeinated Alcoholic Drinks

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — There will be action against the sale of caffeinated alcoholic drinks in Baltimore City.

Mary Bubala reports the health commissioner signed an order Tuesday banning the sale of the controversial drinks.

Four Loko and other caffeinated alcohol drinks like it must be off Baltimore City store shelves by 5 p.m. on Thursday.

“We are asking that all establishments remove these products from their shelves. We will be have our sanitarians conduct inspections during the course of their normal inspections,” said Dr. Oxiris Barbot, Baltimore City Health Commissioner.

The new ban in Baltimore City applies to:

  • Core High Gravity Hg Green & Orange
  • Lemon Lime Core Spiked
  • Moonshot
  • Four Loko
  • Joose and 
  • Max

Official notice is being sent to 566 businesses in the city. Violators will face a fine of up to $1,000.

Baltimore City is taking action after the FDA ruled caffeine is an unsafe food additive in alcoholic drinks and in violation of federal law.

Several tragedies have been linked to these drinks, which typically have the equivalent of four cans of caffeinated soda and four to five cans of beer in one serving.

In Maryland, the parents of Courtney Spurry blame the drink for her death.

“She died and other people will continue to die if they stay on the market,” said Doug Gansler, Maryland Attorney General.

Maryland’s Attorney General has worked for years to get the drinks off store shelves. Baltimore City’s ban is a major step.

“They are marketed to young people and given that we have such a large number of universities within Baltimore City, we are concerned about the potential effects in these populations. We want to act sooner rather than later. We don’t want to wait for a tragedy to occur,” said Gansler.

Residents can report merchants who continue to sell the prohibited products in Baltimore City by call 311.

Last week the maker of Four Loko announced it’s removing the caffeine from its drinks.

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