Bye Bye Rum and Coke – Iowa Looks to Ban Caffeine Drinks in Bars

If you want to have a vodka Red Bull, or even Irish up your coffee, you may be out of luck if you live in Iowa, if one legislator has his way.

Via the Des Moines Register:

A sweeping ban on alcoholic beverages that contain caffeine is the first bill in the Iowa Senate this year.

The proposal would prohibit the sale or possession of such drinks, as well as ban transporting or distributing them. Senate File 1 was filed by Sen. Brian Schoenjahn, D-Arlington.

A violation would be a simple misdemeanor punishable by 30 days in jail and a fine of between $65 and $625. Anyone with a liquor license would have their permit revoked.

As Reason points out:

The bill defines “caffeinated alcoholic beverage” as “any beverage containing more than one-half of one percent of alcohol by volume, including alcoholic liquor, wine, and beer, to which caffeine is added.” Hence it apparently applies not only to drinks with a noticeable caffeine kick but also to coffee-flavored liqueurs with detectable amounts of the stimulant, such as Kahlua or Tia Maria, and any cocktails made with them, such as a Black Russian or a Mudslide. In addition to jail time and fines, violators would face revocation (not just suspension) of their liquor licenses, and therefore loss of their livelihoods—a pretty harsh penalty for following the instructions in a Mr. Boston book.

How devastating could such a law be?  I for one never would have made it through my college years in Iowa without those amaretto-spiked coffee mugs that helped me write my term papers at 3 a.m.

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Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle6 years ago

I'm completely in the dark as to WHY this legislator thinks caffeine is bad! Wouldn't banning alcohol solve more problems, since their are so many alcohol-related deaths on the road? Oh, I forgot ... we did, and then repealed it.

Stupid legislators sound off on ridiculous things, instead of addressing the REAL problems, like unemployment, health care costs, poor education, THE RISING POOR in this nation and the inequity between the extreme rich 1% who own 50% of the wealth, and the other 99%. Amazing, in a perverse way.

Louis F.
Louis Fournier6 years ago

The Real Thing

The formerly secret recipe: Fluid extract of Coca: 3 drams USP, Citric acid: 3 oz, Caffeine: 1 oz, Sugar: 30 (unclear quantity), Water: 2.5 gal, Lime juice: 2 pints, 1 quart, Vanilla: 1 oz, Caramel: 1.5 oz or more for color

The secret 7X flavor (use 2 oz of flavor to 5 gals syrup):
Alcohol: 8 oz
Orange oil: 20 drops
Lemon oil: 30 drops
Nutmeg oil: 10 drops
Coriander: 5 drops
Neroli: 10 drops
Cinnamon: 10 drops

Pay attention Iowa--Caffeine Alert
Pay Attention Diabetics -- Sugar Alert!
Pay attention others -- Secret Ingredients could be harmful to your health!
Pay attention others -- Improperly disposed of Coke could have environmental consequences!

.6 years ago

does strabucks offer a "trenta" irish coffee yet?

Brad S.
Brad Stockinger6 years ago

We need to stop the government from taking our liberties away. Let americans make their own decisions on what they put in their bodies. We need to repeal smoking, caffiene, and such bans. If consumers don't want something then don't buy it or don't go where smoking is allowed by an estsblishment. Why ruin it for everyone else? If you want something your way, open your own establishment to do things your way. Let's use common sense and less government in our lives.

David J.
David J6 years ago

Here again we have government at it's finest. These are the morons that are making decisions for us. Here in Georgia we have a moron, I think congressman, wanting people to toss their driver's license. His rhetoric is nobody should have to have a license to drive. It's our constitutional right. He's trying to pass a bill. Where do these people come from, maybe some distant planet?

Lika S.
Lika P6 years ago

This is why the democrats are looked at as the "nanny state politics" people.

As a former bartender whose had to take the technical class 4 times at each of the jobs that I needed my license for, there is a flaw in the logic. If you drink enough alcohol, you are drunk, and no, caffeine doesn't affect your level of drunk, only time. So just because you have them drink a pot of coffee, won't snap them out.

Anyway... this is so anal retentive, it's not funny. I suppose next, we'll have to fine those who are wired on caffeine too? I like my caffeinated beverages. Coffee, Coke-a-cola, tea, etc...

Kathleen D.
Kathleen D6 years ago

I second that; is he really a Democrat? Surely, there must be a mistake!
Anyway, yeah; what is the reasoning. Maybe this dumb ass thinks the caffeine will speed the process of the effects of alcohol. That in itself makes no sense, since, caffeine is a stimulent and alcohol a depressant. Generally, coffee is served to help sober up a imbiber.
I'll bet that guy doesn't get re-elected!

Barbara Erdman
Barbara Erdman6 years ago

thanx and noted:0

michael c.
corbin m6 years ago

So-ban the caffeine, but alcohol is okay. Ahh, America! Gotta love it. Oh, wait-not really.

Karen K.
Karen K7 years ago

What's the rationale? Doesn't make sense.