FDA warns makers of combo energy and alcohol drinks

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The Food and Drug Administration has sent letters to the makers of alcoholic energy drinks.  They warn that the caffeine in the drinks is unsafe, and say the evidence shows the drinks have led to alcohol poisoning, car accidents, and assaults.

The companies have 15 days to explain to the FDA how they will take the drinks off the market or how they can defend them as safe.  However, the FDA has the power to pull the drinks off the market if the companies continue to make them.

The maker of one of the drinks, called Four Loko, has said it will remove the caffeine from it's products.  They followed up to say, however, they still believe the mix of alcohol and caffeine is safe.

WBTV talked with students on the campus of Central Piedmont Community College about these popular drinks.

"People drink them a lot.  All the time, actually," said one student.

Another added, "It shouldn't be on the market if it's getting everyone sick.  It should be a lot safer."

However, one young man said the FDA pulling these drinks from the shelves will likely have little impact on whether older teens and college aged students still drink that combination.

"You can mix any kind of energy drink together with beer, malt liquor, hard liquor, anything," said regular Four Loko drinker Louis Belis.