Beer distributors, Four Loko manufacturer, will halt shipping of caffeinated, alcoholic drink to NY

by simone weichselbaum and rick schapiro

Originally Published:Sunday, November 14th 2010, 4:00 AM
Updated: Sunday, November 14th 2010, 2:19 AM

The flow of Four Loko into New York is finally being shut off.

The State Liquor Authority has pressured the state’s biggest beer distributors to stop delivering Four Loko and other caffeinated alcoholic cocktails to New York retailers by Dec.10.

And the maker of the sweet-but-potent beverage has agreed to stop shipping its wildly popular drink to New York distributors after Nov. 19.

The dual agreements will allow the SLA to fine any shop owners found to be selling Four Loko without proof it was ordered by the deadline, authorities said.

“I hope this will end the sale of this product in the state,” said SLA Chairman Dennis Rosen.

Jaisen Freeman, co-founder of Phusion Projects, the company that produces Four Loko, gave a tepid endorsement of the agreement.

“We think it shows that we are not turning a deaf ear to what’s going on: that a select few have chosen to abuse our products, drink them while underage or break the law and sell them to minors,” said Freeman.

A 23.5-ounce can of Four Loko contains the amount of alcohol in three cans of beer blended with the caffeine of three cups of coffee.

The fruity malt beverage leaped into the spotlight in New York last month after members of a Bronx gang forced a victim to guzzle 10 cans before beating him mercilessly in what was described as a gay bias attack.

After the Daily News informed his office of the deal, Sen. Chuck Schumer said he favored an outright ban but called the move “a giant step forward in keeping our kids safe from these toxic and dangerous brews.”

The agreements came after an undercover sting operation at 28 mom-and-pop stores in the Bronx last week led to four arrests for selling the booze-infused beverage to minors.

“People were complaining that kids were being sold Four Lokos in bodegas,” said Assistant Chief Carlos Gomez, head of the NYPD‘s Bronx patrol bureau.

Nine stores in East Tremont, Castle Hill, Wakefield and Parkchester sold the drink to a teenage police cadet, cops said. They were hit with summonses.

Three additional stores – all in Wakefield – sold Four Loko and loose cigarettes to the undercover teen, leading to arrests of four employees, all charged with the sale of alcohol to a minor and the sale of untaxed cigarettes.

“The results of this investigation are startling,” said state Sen. Jeff Klein (D-Bronx).

“It is clear that teens in this city have no problem getting their hands on this dangerous drink. It has to stop,” he said.

The “blackout-in-a-can” has been blamed for several deaths, and authorities in Michigan, Washington, Oklahoma and Utah have banned the sale of Four Loko.

With Vanessa Parker

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Posted on November 14, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I’m upset i never got to try it b4 it got banned 😦 mabe i’ll go nj im sure they sell and have anything that isn’t good for you there

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