Regulators: Even Store Clerks Fooled By Alcoholic Energy Drinks

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Refigerated shelves in convenience stores
are laden with brightly packaged energy drinks - some alcoholic,
some not.
Recognizing the difference isn't always easy, even for clerks,
said Nathan Jones, spokesman for the Office of Alcoholic Beverage
Control in Frankfort. He said investigators from the agency have
cited 25 clerks since Jan. 1 for selling alcoholic energy drinks to
minors.
The state agency called attention to their findings on Friday,
saying it is especially troublesome because the drinks often
contain higher alcoholic content than most other malt beverages.
"This new line of alcoholic beverage product is extremely
similar in look and feel to the popular energy drinks that contain
no alcohol," said Chris Lilly, executive director of the Office of
Alcoholic Beverage Control. "Our youth are at risk when clerks and
retailers can not differentiate between non-alcoholic and alcoholic
beverages being sold."
Jim Tipton, head of enforcement for the state agency, said
clerks who sell alcoholic energy drinks to minors, even if they do
it unknowingly, are legally responsible. He said store owners need
to make sure their clerks are trained to know the difference.
"This is an issue our officers will continue to monitor
closely," he said.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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