Undercover Investigation Finds Four Loko Being Illegally Sold To Minors In NYC

Jeffrey D. Klein

November 16, 2010

Klein Joins SLA and NYPD to Unveil Details of Sting Operation and efforts to ban the sale of Caffeinated Alcoholic Beverages in New York State

NEW YORK, NY – State Senator and Deputy Majority Leader Jeff Klein (D Bronx/Westchester) was joined by State Liquor Authority Deputy CEO Mike Jones outside of the State Liquor Authority in Manhattan unveiling details of an undercover operation which found Four Loko being sold illegally to a minor on multiple occasions at a variety of stores in New York City. In addition, Klein announced his legislative efforts to ban the sale of CABs in NYS.  

In August, Senator Klein was made aware of an incident in Westchester where three teens had been rushed to emergency rooms after consuming Four Loko. Convinced that the teens were getting this product illegally from stores, local law enforcement began an undercover sting operation to identify retailers who were illegally selling CABs to minors.

Senator Klein reached out to the Bronx Borough Command of the NYPD  to ask for their assistance in seeing how accessible Four Loko is for underage NYC teenagers. On Tuesday November 9th, the NYPD launched an investigation.

An  undercover police volunteer under the age of 18, visited several convenience stores and bodegas within the 45th, 47th and 49th precincts to buy Four Loko. In total, out of the 28 locations, 11 were issued violations for selling Four Loko to a minor.

Senator Klein is now introducing legislation to help control access to CABs. This new legislation will help put warning labels on CABs to differentiate them from other energy drinks that don’t have alcohol in them. It will also enhance SLA standards for label approval. In addition, Klein wants to shift the sale of these types of drinks from convenience stores and bodegas to liquor stores. Another piece of legislation would increase the criminal penalty for the sale, gift and delivery of CABs to minors. Nearly all CABs  sold in New York have between 6% and 12% alcohol by volume. Senator Klein wants to ban the sale of CABs in New York State.