CHARLESTON - West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw has joined attorneys general of 25 other states in asking MillerCoors, LLC to drop its plan to introduce a new alcoholic energy drink with elevated alcoholic content.
The attorneys general sent the letter Wednesday to W. Leo Kiely, CEO of MillerCoors, stating the decision to introduce Sparks Red defies medical evidence that mixing alcohol with energy drinks can be a health hazard.
"We have stated repeatedly that alcoholic energy drinks such as Sparks Red constitute a serious health and safety risk for America's youth," New Mexico Chief Deputy Attorney General Al Lama said.
"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."
The issue deals not only with the mixture of alcohol and energy drinks, but also the elevated level of alcohol in Sparks Red. The alcohol content of Miller Lite, a MillerCoors product, is 4.2 percent while the content of the alcoholic energy drink is 8 percent, nearly twice that amount.
The letter sent to MillerCoors cites a recent study that found college students who mix alcohol and energy drinks participate in more dangerous behavior including increased heavy, episodic drinking and weekly drunkenness.
The study also found students who drank the product experienced a higher prevalence of sexual assault and injury.