Bravo to Dr. Peter Mercer, President of Ramapo College!

Cleared2Drive Dr. Peter Philip Mercer, President of Ramapo College

Dr. Peter P. Mercer President, Ramapo College

Peter Mercer, president of New Jersey’s Ramapo College, has banned caffeinated alcoholic beverages on campus after a rash of hospitalizations among students consuming them, the Associated Press reported Oct. 19.

One brand of the beverages, Four Loko, is gaining popularity among high school and college students due to its low cost, high alcohol content, and fruity, easy-to-drink flavors. A 23.5-ounce can of Four Loko contains as much alcohol as four beers.

“If you only got $2 and you need to get drunk, this is what you get,” said Robert Black, a customer at a liquor store in Atlantic City.

The Rampano College ban went into effect Oct. 1. Mercer is hoping other colleges and universities will follow his lead. “There’s no redeeming social purpose to be served by having the beverage,” he said.

He is also backing a bill introduced by NJ Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini to prohibit the sale of caffeinated alcohol products throughout the state. Although no other state has gone that route, a number are considering measures to curb access. The marketing practices of companies that produce the beverages are also under scrutiny at the federal level.

“These products have higher levels of alcohol content in them, higher levels of caffeine in them,” said National Alcohol Beverage Control Association spokesperson Steven Schmidt. “There’s a lot of concern about whether combining these two is a good idea.”

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