WMKY

Attorney General Conway Asks Phusion to Lower Alcohol Content in "Four Loko"

Oct 1, 2015

Credit Columbus Dispatch

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway announced on Thursday (October 1) that he and 16 other state attorneys general have written a letter to Phusion Projects, LLC and its officers (collectively, “Phusion”) regarding the flavored malt beverage Four Loko and its high alcohol content.

In March of 2014, a settlement joined by Attorney General Conway and 19 other attorneys general resolved allegations that Phusion marketed and sold Four Loko in violation of consumer protection and trade practice statutes by promoting the alcoholic beverage to minors. 

Four Loko has been linked to multiple deaths in driving under the influence cases across the country in the last five years.  Earlier this year, a teenager in Edgewater, FL pled no contest to DUI manslaughter after getting in a wreck that killed his 16-year-old cousin.  He was reportedly drinking Four Loko.

With a 12% alcohol concentration in a 23.5 ounce container, one can of Four Loko contains 4.7 servings of alcohol.  Based on Centers for Disease Control (CDC) standards, drinking just one can of Four Loko, constitutes a binge drinking episode. 

The CDC defines a standard serving of alcohol as 0.6 fluid ounces of “pure" ethyl alcohol.  The CDC further defines binge drinking as men drinking five and women drinking four or more alcohol servings in about two hours.   When a person consumes “Four Loko” they are, or are very close to, binge drinking after drinking just one can.

“Binge drinking is a serious problem facing teens and young adults in Kentucky,” General Conway said.  “I am calling for Phusion to lower the alcohol content in Four Loko to the industry standard of 8% alcohol by volume.  If steps are taken to significantly reduce the alcohol content found in this drink, then public safety risks will immediately reduce for Kentucky consumers.”

The Attorneys General of Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont and the District of Columbia joined in signing this letter.

In March of 2014, a settlement joined by Attorney General Conway and 19 other attorneys general resolved allegations that Phusion marketed and sold Four Loko in violation of consumer protection and trade practice statutes by promoting the alcoholic beverage to minors, promoting dangerous and excessive consumption of the beverage, promoting the misuse of alcohol, and failing to disclose to consumers the effects of drinking alcoholic beverages combined with caffeine.

(story provided by the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General)