Trinity Police say alcoholic drink is deceptive - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Trinity Police say alcoholic drink is deceptive

Brittany Madison, 14, admits to drinking Four Loko. Brittany Madison, 14, admits to drinking Four Loko.
Trinity Police Officer Randy Wheeler examines a can of Four Loko. Trinity Police Officer Randy Wheeler examines a can of Four Loko.
TRINITY, TX (KTRE) -

By Jena Johnson - email

TRINITY, TX (KTRE) - Flashy, cool cans. They're meant to catch the eye, but whose eyes are they aimed for?

"Things like that catches kids' eyes," said Brittany Madison, 14.

Madison admits she drinks cans of Four Loko, a caffeinated malt beverage, with her underaged friends.

"Because it's a pretty can," Madison said. "It just looks like an energy drink."

"It looks like it could be a tea or anything that you see on the shelf," said Randy Wheeler, a Trinity Police officer.

Last weekend, Wheeler says he caught children as young as 12 years old with the malt beverages. He admits the cans and children fooled him.

"They said it was an energy drink and that's basically what we thought it was so we let them go and later on we found out it was in fact an alcoholic beverage," Wheeler said.

Police say they confuse these cans with energy drinks. Kids say that's why they like them."

"They probably think it's an energy drink and they don't read the can," Madison said. "I know I don't read it."

Wheeler says the camouflaged can leads you to believe it's just an energy drink.

"You actually have to look at that label pretty good to see what is says," Wheeler said. "At that top it says contains contains alcohol and has a percentage of alcohol which is pretty high most of them are nine to 12 percent, which is almost double what regular beer is."

Wheeler says the drinks need to be regulated. As for Madison, she says she won't try them again.

"Pretty cans aren't always good," she said.

The executive director of Texas Standing Tall, an advocacy group, is calling on the attorney general to investigate the health and safety product of Four Loko.

She says it clearly appeals to youth.

Four Loko did not immediately return a message for comment.

©2010 KTRE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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