Reporting Monique Griego
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—The controversial and popular alcoholic drink Four Loko is once again being targeted by state leaders.
Monique Griego has more on what the attorney general of Maryland wants removed from the drink.
It’s been called a binge in a can and liquid cocaine. But family and friends of Courtney Spurry called it a killer after the 21-year-old drank Four Loko and crashed her truck into a telephone poll.
“She blacked out within 30 minutes of drinking the alcoholic beverage,” said Abby Sherwood, Spurry’s friend.
One can of Four Loko contains five servings of alcohol or around four beers, and it used to come with a caffeine kick.
“You would drink one or two cans of Four Loko and you wouldn’t feel it because the energy drink kept you awake,” said Mike Gimbel, a drug and alcohol expert.
Gimbel supported an effort that led to the removal of caffeine from the can because of what was happening.
“Enormous amounts of alcohol poisonings, increased car crashes,” he said.
Despite the backlash against Four Loko, Gimbel says it’s as popular as ever and other companies are even coming out with their own versions.
“They’re all flavored, same amount of alcohol,” Gimbel said.
That 12 percent alcohol content is now what Maryland’s attorney general wants regulated.
“We want to change it from having five drinks in a can to having two drinks in a can,” said Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler.
Drinking one can of any of these drinks Gimbel says would put a 180 pound man over the legal limit of .08.
“When teenagers drink they’ll use a beer bong, a drinking game,” he said. “They could take two or three of these drinks in minutes.”
That’s why he believes, changing Four Loko to “Two Loko” could save lives.
The attorney general is also pushing for the drinks to display the number of alcohol servings on the can, and he wants those cans to be resealable so people don’t have to drink them in one sitting.
Maryland’s attorney general is one of 34 nationwide that support lowering the alcohol content of Four Loko.