Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Conway Calls on MillerCoors to Drop Alcoholic Energy Drink With Elevated Alcohol Content
Attorney General Jack Conway, a member of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) Youth Access to Alcohol Committee, joined 24 other state attorneys general in calling on MillerCoors, LLC to abandon its plan to introduce a new alcoholic energy drink -- Sparks Red -- that contains significantly elevated alcohol content.
In a letter to W. Leo Kiely, chief executive officer of MillerCoors, General Conway and his colleagues said MillerCoors’s decision to introduce Sparks Red defies increasing evidence from medical and public health professionals about the dangers of mixing alcohol with stimulants found in energy drinks.
Sparks Red contains as much as 8 percent alcohol by volume, a significant increase over the alcohol content found in other alcoholic energy drinks. The states have repeatedly raised concerns about alcoholic energy drinks, particularly regarding their appeal to young drinkers and their possible adverse health effects.
“Alcohol-fueled energy drinks such as Sparks Red constitute a serious health and safety risk for America’s youth. MillerCoors’s decision to introduce Sparks Red defies increasing, undeniable evidence from medical and public health professionals about the dangers of mixing alcohol with stimulants found in energy drinks,” said Attorney General Conway.
The attorneys general cited one recent study that found 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.
In June, Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. -- also under pressure from several state attorneys general -- agreed to discontinue its alcoholic drinks spiked with caffeine and other stimulants, including “Tilt” and “Bud Extra.”
“I urge MillerCoors to follow Anheuser-Bush’s lead and discontinue plans to launch a drink that poses a serious health threat to our youth. If MillerCoors persists, they should take notice that attorneys general, in concert, are prepared to pursue all legal remedies,” General Conway said.
Link to MillerCoors letter