Attorney General Rowe Calls on MillerCoors to Drop Plans to Introduce High Alcohol Content Energy Drinks

September 17, 2008

Attorney General Steve Rowe, joined by 24 other state attorneys general, today called on MillerCoors, LLC to abandon its plan to introduce a new alcoholic energy drink called Sparks Red that contains 8 percent alcohol by volume.

In a letter to MillerCoors CEO Leo Kiely, Rowe said MillerCoors? decision to introduce Sparks Red defies compelling and undeniable evidence from medical and public health professionals about the dangers of mixing alcohol with stimulants found in energy drinks.

Recent news reports alerted attorneys general to MillerCoors? intent to introduce this new product into the market. Sparks Red contains as much as 8 percent alcohol by volume, a significant increase over the alcohol content found in other alcoholic energy drinks. Attorneys general have repeatedly raised concerns about alcoholic energy drinks, particularly regarding their appeal to young drinkers and their possible adverse health effects.

The attorneys general emphasized one recent study that found that college students who mix alcohol and energy drinks engage in increased heavy episodic drinking and have twice as many episodes of weekly drunkenness. College students who reported consuming alcohol mixed with energy drinks also had significantly higher prevalence of alcohol-related consequences such as sexual assault and injury.

Attorney General Rowe said, ?Energy drinks such as Sparks Red constitute a serious health and safety risk for America?s youth,? said Attorney General Rowe. ?Caffeine gives drinkers the subjective belief that they can function normally, making it more likely that they?ll drink more alcohol and make unsafe decisions that can result in serious harm. Increasing the amount of alcohol in these products just makes it all the more likely harm will result.?

In June, Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc, under pressure from attorneys general, agreed to discontinue its alcoholic drinks spiked with caffeine and other stimulants, including ?Tilt? and ?Bud Extra.?


NEWS RELEASE September 17, 2008 Jessica Maurer, 207-626-8515 or