Liquor board to review energy drink labels

Lansing, MI – The state Liquor Control Commission plans to review the labels on alcoholic energy drinks. The commission could demand changes if it determines the packaging encourages young drinkers to abuse alcohol.

The Liquor Control Commission has approval authority over labels on alcoholic beverages sold in Michigan. Nida Samona, who chairs the commission, says consumers may not know alcohol-energy beverages are typically stronger than beer and wine, and the stimulants in them may encourage binge drinking.

Samona says, "These products have up to 15 or 16 percent content of alcohol and the additional stimulant, so you've got the upper and the downer going through your body, the alcohol that is not the stimulant, but also the garana or the tarana or the caffeine that keeps you going."

Samona says the colorful labels can also be misleading to retailers, parents and law enforcement.