COLUMBIA (WACH) -- The sale of alcoholic energy drinks like Four Loko and Joose in South Carolina is one step closer to being pulled from the shelves completely.
A state panel advanced a bill to the House Judiciary Committee Thursday that would ban distribution of the drinks that pair caffeine and high alcohol volumes in large containers in South Carolina.
Joose, for example, contains 12 percent alcohol by volume in a 23.5 ounce can and can be found stocked on Midlands store shelves.
WACH Fox News purchased a reformulated version of Four Loko containing zero caffeine at a Columbia gas station on Devine Street Thursday morning. The clerk even cautioned us about its potency.
"You really need three of those?" she said while scanning the three brightly colored cans. "That stuff is crack in a can."
But across town at other stores, caffeinated versions of Joose and Four Loko can still be purchased.
In November, the FDA issued a letter to the makers of these drinks warning them about the potential health hazards they can cause. They told manufacturers that caffeine and alcohol is a dangerous combination that can make people who drink it "wide-awake drunk."
Some companies decided to pull their products from stores or reformulate their ingredients.
If the bill passes, offending stores would lose their license to sell alcohol for two years and be fined up to $500 and put behind bars for anywhere from one to six months.
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