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Samantha Hayes Reporting If you need a boost of energy, you can find more than enough caffeine in an energy drink. But a few energy drinks on the market can leave you feeling not only alert, but maybe a little woozy, too. Some of them contain alcohol. It's is a big concern to the Utah County Health Department.
The health department discovered by accident that many store clerks and consumers do not know some energy drinks contain alcohol. They assume many parents probably don't know this, either, but a lot of underage kids do.
The eye-catching cans stand out in the beverage aisle. So does the amount of caffeine inside energy drinks -- nine times more than a regular cola. In some of these energy drinks, though, there is also booze in that boost.
Many people have no clue, though. That's what the Utah County Board of Health discovered during a recent sting with law enforcement.
Becky Coombs, of Substance Abuse Prevention with the Utah County Board of Health, said, "[we] had our underage buyer go in and purchase one of these products, the tilt. When he brought it out, both me and the officer did not know it was an alcoholic beverage."
Would you know? Richard Nance lined up different energy drinks to show us why he is concerned. Most on the market do not have alcohol, but a few do. But all of them look alike.
Richard Nance, of the Utah County Division of Substance Abuse, said, "We think parents need to know, because if your kid comes home with one of these products, for instance Rock Star, there are a dozen different Rock Star products, how would you know the difference as a parent?"
What parents may notice is the marketing. One is called "Cocaine," another "Pimp Juice."
Nance describes the drinks as, "Very suggestive of favorable attitudes toward drugs and drug use, and some are sexual in nature."
That's sex, drugs and rock n' roll, in bold letters on the labels. It's the small print you may miss. Basically, the health department says while alcoholic energy drinks may be abiding by government regulations, it is not easily discernible for the consumer.