Wash. state may ban alcoholic energy drinks

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington state’s Liquor Control Board is considering a ban on alcoholic energy drinks, a month after nine college students there were hospitalized after drinking the sugary beverages at an off-campus party.

Gov. Chris Gregoire has scheduled a Wednesday morning news conference to discuss the topic. The board is apparently meeting just beforehand, and Gregoire will be joined at the news conference by the board’s chairwoman, Sharon Foster.

Authorities say the nine Central Washington University students who were hospitalized were drinking the caffeinated malt liquor beverage Four Loko.

The makers of Four Loko — Phusion Projects Inc. of Chicago — say they work hard to ensure products aren’t sold to underage people. They also point out the partygoers may have been drinking other types of alcohol.

Washington is one of several states considering outlawing high-alcohol energy drinks while the Food and Drug Administration reviews their safety.