Energy Drinks With Alcohol Face New Regulations

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – People seeking the boost of an energy drink with the buzz of alcohol would have to go to the liquor store to make their purchases under a bill supported by lawmakers.

Senate Bill 438, introduced by Democratic Sen. Carol Juneau of Browning, was endorsed by the House on a 54-44 vote Saturday.

The measure seeks to apply the same rules governing the sale of liquor to so-called energy drinks containing at least 0.5 percent alcohol along with stimulants such as ginseng, taurine and caffeine.

If the bill receives final approval Monday, it will go to Gov. Brian Schweitzer for his signature.

Supporters of the bill say stimulants in alcoholic energy drinks reduced drinkers’ sense of intoxication, leading them to drink more.