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Your Voices | On Four Loko

FourLoko_cansChelsia Rose Marcius

Our recent posts on bodegas in the East Village that continue to sell caffeinated Four Loko struck a nerve. Many readers took time to write in and express their thoughts on our investigation, and Gothamist picked up the story and republished similar articles twice.

The action wasn’t limited to the blogosphere either: The Local’s Chelsia Rose Marcius revisited the subject after the commotion, reporting that the State Liquor Authority planned to investigate the bodegas in question.

A common label, used both in the comments section and the Gothamist posts, was “narcs” and “snitches.”

“tacony palmyra” started off the name calling:

“Well, thanks East Village Narc! I’m sure the SLA or whatever authority is going to make sure these bodegas you individually identified will be in trouble if they find any, and now we get no more old school Four Lokos. Do journalistic ethics require that you play fun police?”

Read more…

State to Review Sales of Four Loko

FourLoko_cansChelsia Rose Marcius The banned drink was on sale last week.

As we told you last week, The Local found five East Village establishments selling the caffeinated version of Four Loko, the alcoholic beverage banned last year after the New York State Liquor Authority and in-state distributors agreed to stop selling the product.

Officials with the authority said today that they plan to look into the continued sale and distribution of the beverage.

“We’ll have to investigate how this product is still on the shelves,” said William Crowley, a spokesman for the authority. “If someone is selling that stuff illegally, it’s something we’re going to look into.”

Mr. Crowley said that investigation could include examining inventory records to determine where businesses are getting the drink. He said that Four Loko is a small part of distributor inventory, and for wholesalers to continue selling the product to retailers and “take a risk like that would be surprising.”

Store owners found selling the drink face fines ranging from $1,500 to $2,000 and other penalties, including the revocation of their liquor licenses.

Steve Harris, president of the New York State Beer Wholesalers Association, said it is highly unlikely — but not impossible — that retailers are getting the drink from New York distributors who are not a part of the association.

He noted that area businesses could also be “getting it illegally from New Jersey wholesalers or retailers,” or other out-of-state distributors.

“I can tell you unequivocally that none of my members sell the stimulant stuff anymore,” said Mr. Harris, whose group is made up of 44 distributors. “But there is another group of wholesalers that could still have it.”