Council takes aim at caffeinated alcohol; Irish coffee safe— for now

November 9, 2010

47th Ward Ald. Eugene Schulter (D-North Center) and Ed Burke (D-West Elsdon: Chicago) are chief sponsors behind a bill that would outlaw the sale of caffeinated alcoholic beverages. The motion to change the city ordinance was reported by Medill and also the Chicago Sun-Times.

Coffee, whiskey, cream and sugar. That's all you need.

Schulter told the Sun-Times it was “unconscionable” that manufacturers would mix caffeine and alcohol, calling it a “toxic potion . . . that really can get people ill.”

“These caffeinated alcoholic beverages are typically sold in 23.5 ounce cans and contain the equivalent of four to six beers and one cup of coffee,” Ald. Burke said in a press release. “It is a dangerous cocktail which can lead to dangerous situations for young people who may be totally unaware of how inebriated they have become in such a short period of time.”

The ordinance states “no person shall sell, give away, barter, exchange or otherwise furnish any caffeinated alcoholic beverage.” Burke and Schulter say the ordinance will only apply to liquor sold or distributed in cans or bottles. So the sale of Irish Coffee, for example, would not be affected.

Burke said, “If somebody thinks that it ought to go farther, let’s hear from them.”

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2 Responses to Council takes aim at caffeinated alcohol; Irish coffee safe— for now

  1. Caitlin Huxley on November 9, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    I’ve been drinking Irish Coffee for years. It contains plenty of alcohol, and plenty of caffeine, and hasn’t killed me yet. Let me make my own decisions.

  2. Jay on November 10, 2010 at 9:43 am

    One day you can’t legally drink alcohol, the next you can guzzle six beers and a coffee in 30 seconds. I wonder if our ridiculous binary view of responsibility has anything to do with our young people being unprepared for making adult decisions.