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Livin’ la vida Four Loko

11/15/2010
By:

Andrew Laudicina

Staff Writer

If you haven’t heard about Four Loko by now, you must be living under a giant rock. It’s an alcoholic energy drink, having different a percentage of alcohol depending on the state; 12 percent in CT, and is sold in a 23.5 ounce can for $2 or $3. Currently it is banned in about four states as well as numerous college campuses.

This drink has been featured in the news across the country for weeks and has been gaining nothing but negative attention. There are two particular topics about this beverage I’d like to discuss; the first being an outcry for the drink to be banned, and the second is about an email Southern sent out towards the beginning of the month.

I recently noticed a news story on the web site for NY Daily News mentioning Senator Chuck Schumer asking for a ban against the beverage and a few days later there was an article put out by the Associated Press saying the maker of Four Loko has agreed to stop distributing the beverage to New York altogether.

What garnered my attention was in the NY Daily Time’s article, it said that an 18-year-old Long Island girl passed away in August after drinking Four Loko. If memory serves me correctly, the legal drinking age is 21, not 18. Instead of everybody saying, “Omg Four Loko is like sooo dangerous, let’s like ban it forever,” the real question everyone should be asking is, “What was an underage person doing drinking alcohol?”

The article also fails to mention how much the girl consumed. I found it interesting one of the biggest facts of the article wasn’t even put in.

In my opinion, is drinking one or maybe two cans of Four Loko dangerous? I don’t think so. Is drinking five or
more dangerous, ummm yes. Also, alcoholic energy drinks have been on the market for years, why all the attention now? Is it because the latest has a larger percentage of alcohol? Even so, people have been doing Jägerbomb’s ever since I can remember which is mixing alcohol and an energy drink. Yet no one has ever mentioned alcoholic and energy drinks until now, merely because people cannot be responsible.

In the AP article, it cites Gov. David Paterson, “New Yorkers deserve to know that the beverages they buy are safe for consumption.” The beverage is safe to consume, just not in vast number of quantities. Does the drink have a large percent of alcohol, sure, but it’s just like any other alcoholic drink when it comes to drinking alcohol. An example would be beer: one or two is okay, but once a person starts pounding down ten beers in two hours, that’s a different story.

The point to my argument is people need to take responsibility for their actions. My friend Joe said it best a few days ago, “If I get into a car accident and kill someone with my car, are they going to ban cars?”

I just think it’s ridiculous to ask for a ban against a drink when people can’t take responsibility for their own actions. Instead of pointing fingers at a corporation, point the fingers at the people who drink it and punish them.

As for my other topic I’d like to address, a few weeks back Southern Public Affair’s sent out a campus-wide email to inform students about Four Loko. I just want to say before I go any further, I’m not exactly sure what department requested to send this out and I’m thinking DARC was behind it since it’s about alcohol, but it could have been the Health Department. I like DARC and everything they do. The people who work there do a great job and I have complete respect for what they do for students and I mean nothing personal to the staff at DARC if they are the ones who requested the email. If it wasn’t them, then ignore everything I just said because I don’t really care about the other departments on campus.

The email which was sent out with giant red letter saying “Warning! Health & Wellness Alert! said Four Loko comes in a 24 ounce can. Wrong. Four Loko is available in 23.5 ounce cans. I guess someone forgot to get their facts straight.

Second of all, when I read “Did you know one 24 oz can of Four Loko has 12% alcohol equal to 5 shots of vodka?” and “Did you know one 24 oz can of Four Loko is equal to a 6 pack of beer?” it makes me want to try Four Loko if I’ve never had it before. To think I can spend $2 or $3 dollars and get a cheaper buzz instead of buying a six pack or a small bottle of vodka makes me would make me interested in Four Loko.

My point is, I think just mentioning these two facts in a campus-wide email tempts students to try the drink rather than try to turn them away from it. I think a better email could have been constructed without having the facts. Smoking is dangerous to people. Why isn’t there an email sent out with smoking facts and percentages?

Besides, I highly doubt people who already enjoy Four Loko’s are going to stop drinking them because of an email. More than likely, the people who drink it already know what it contains. I mean it’s not like there’s a big display on the can that says 12% alcohol or anything.

And from my experience, Fruit Punch is the best flavor.

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