Alcohol

Iowa Legislator Seeks to Criminalize Cocktails

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The Food

and Drug Administration can ban caffeinated alcoholic beverages such as Four Loko, but it cannot stop bartenders from mixing Red Bull with vodka, coffee with Irish whiskey, or cola with rum. Fortunately, Iowa state Sen. Brian Schoenjahn (D-Arlington) has proposed a bill that would close this dangerous gap by making it a misdemeanor for any business with a liquor license to "manufacture for sale, sell, offer or keep for sale, import, distribute, transport, or possess any caffeinated alcoholic beverage." 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.

Correction: I put the wrong letter after Schoenjahn's name in my initial post. He is a Democrat.

[Thanks to Mark Lambert for the tip.]

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  1. a pretty harsh penalty for following the instructions in a Mr. Boston book.

    Reading always does lead to trouble.

    1. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s learning things never taught me nuthin’. And books is the worst.

    2. Mr. Boston has a top hat, and likes to see people partying. If he only had a monocle, we’d know he was libertarian.

  2. What slippery slope?

    And, STFU, nanny Republicans- case study of why I became a libertarian.

      1. True story. Sullum got it wrong.

        1. “Name That Party!”
          It just seemed like something a Republican would do.

          CONFIRMATION BIAS !!1!

          1. Yah think so? Nannyism is a decidedly progressive viewpoint.

            1. My point exactly. I should’ve put it in quotes to make that clear.

            2. Nannyism knows no political affilitation. It is just that the progs seem to be the ones in favor of food and beverage nannyism presently.

            3. No, let’s be fair here: Democrats are maternalistic, and Republicans are paternalistic. And both are statist at heart.

      2. Sullum has him as an “R”- I see from the actual article he’s a “D”.

        1. Ooopps. So it does.

          1. TrickyVic|1.14.11 @ 3:19PM|#

            Most of them are for smaller government of this type.

            I always find if funny when people try to claim nannyism is a left wing thing.

            Don’t feel bad. We’re here to educate.

            1. Then you already know nannyism isn’t just a left wing thing, dispite Sullum’s error.

              1. No but nannyism is much more common from the left. Kind of like enthusiasm for free markets is more from the right.

                1. Yeah, the right loves that NAFTA.

        2. He’s a non-L.

        1. Tell me again how Democrats are better on civil liberties?

          1. Democrats are better at paying lip service to the civil liberties which they prefer.

      3. Does it matter? He’s still an asstard that needs to be removed from office, just like that NJ bitch who wants to put license plates on bicycles.

  3. Another Republican for smaller government.

    1. Most of them are for smaller government of this type.

      I always find if funny when people try to claim nannyism is a left wing thing.

      1. It’s like when left wingers say corporatism is a right wing thing, or when right wingers say big government is a left wing thing, or when…well, I don’t have the kind of time it would take to complete this list.

        1. Big government is a government thing.

    2. While many GOPers aren’t for smaller government this particular one is a DEMOCRAT.

    3. Except this particular “Republican” is a DEMOCRAT fuckface.

      1. What, exactly, is a “DEMOCRAT fuckface”? Is that a DEMOCRAT with a vagina for a mouth, or what?

        Maybe you should get back to your pizza pizza.

        1. Maybe he mistyped it on purpose because he wanted to see if we’d have a different reaction….

        2. That would be awesome.

          1. The first democrat I’d consider voting for in ever years.

            1. or dating…

        3. Spartacus|1.14.11 @ 3:09PM|#

          Another Republican for smaller government.

        4. >>What, exactly, is a “DEMOCRAT fuckface”?

          A redundancy, I believe.

  4. There were clearly better choices of politician for Loughner to fixate on.

    1. See! There’s the incendiary eliminationist rhetoric that makes paranoid schizophrenics shoot people!

      1. That would be great if it were true.

    2. I can think of a certain senior Senator from his state. Expecting him to focus on Iowans is unreasonable.

      But then, so is he…

    3. Fuck the politician?

      1. You’re passive aggressive and humorless. You really are the worst stalker ever. Could you go kill yourself so that the position opens up for someone that’s at least not terrible?

        1. Fuck Epi’s sister?

          1. So you’re determined to offer even more proof of how awful of a stalker you are. Sigh.

            1. But back to your sister. Is she hot?

              1. Of course; she’s related to me.

                1. Someone said Epi was Italian-American, which leads me to conclude that his sister is Snooki, the preeminent hot Italian-American.

                  1. Snooki is from Chile.

                    1. Chile con Epi. Ewww.

            2. Or talented?

  5. Job justification.

  6. I hope Brian Schoenjahn isn’t inundated with emails asking for proof that he doesn’t, in fact, fuck sheep. Obviously the claim that Brian Schoenjahn fucks sheep is baseless despite the fact that he hasn’t provided any proof to the contrary. After all, for someone like Brian Schoenjahn to prove he doesn’t fuck sheep is difficult. Best of luck, Brian Schoenjahn, in clearing your name against these allegations of sheep-fucking.

    Brian.Schoenjahn@legis.state.ia.us

    1. But, can anyone prove that Brian Schoenjahn doesn,t fuck sheep? If you can’t prove it, how do we know he doesn’t fuck sheep every night?

      1. It’s Iowa. Dollars to donuts, he fucks pigs. Pigfucker.

        1. I’ve read from chain emails that pigs have 30 minute orgasms.

          1. Squeal like a pig!

    2. We will neither confirm nor deny the validity of the statement: “Brian Schoenjahn has definitely fucked a sheep or two in his day.”

    3. This is just the sort of climate of hate that causes deranged sheep to murder politicians.

      1. However, there is no proof that this climate of hate causes deranged politicians such as Brian Schoenjahn to fuck sheep.

        1. See, when you discuss this, you should talk about your opinion. Opinions are not libelous, since they merely reflect the speaker’s personal views.

          Thus, if you were to say “in my opinion, Brian Schoenjahn probably fucks sheep…” it’s not a libelous statement.

          After remembering this, I think I’m going to try to get a webpage dedicated to a certain lawyer…

    4. That Brian Schoenjahn has, apparently, yet to respond concerning the latest sheepfucking affair speaks volumes.

      1. I think I saw a picture of him wearing hipwaders.

  7. There is no legitimacy to the complaint that libertarians tend to focus on obscure bills, sponsored by obscure politicians from obscure state legislatures, that have no chance of becoming law. Discuss anyway.

    1. …that have no chance of becoming law.

      Stick around, kid. Fool me once, etc.

      1. Most of these idiotic efforts never become law. You can look it up.

    2. Right, because Four Loko wasn’t banned. Does being this much of an idiot hurt, or is it painless?

      1. 4loko was banned by public health bureaucratic fiat.
        It would’ve been interesting to see the effort to passa constitutional amendment banning 4loko. I suspect it would have failed early in the process.

        1. Does “Episiarch” have any idea how many stupid bills never actually become law? Maybe he can look it up and get back to us. But that would require effort. It’s much easier being an internet crackpot. Rock on, “Episiarch”!

        2. Little Caesar Enterprises, Inc|1.14.11 @ 3:41PM|#
          4loko was banned by public health bureaucratic fiat.
          It would’ve been interesting to see the effort to passa constitutional amendment banning 4loko. I suspect it would have failed early in the process.

          Which makes it even fucking worse!!!!! I can’t vote out the fucking bureacrat.

          1. “I can’t vote out the fucking bureacrat.”

            Sure you can.

            Rope.
            Tree.
            Bureaucrat.
            Some assembly required.

      2. How did that celebrated NYC salt ban work out? The blogosphere went ape-shit! Ooh, it failed! How humiliating for you.

        1. Right, how humiliating. I’m going to tell you a secret, anonypussy; just because you want something to be the case so bad doesn’t make it so. I know you think that’s unfair, but well, you’re a passive aggressive pussy.

            1. Uh oh, looks like anonypussy got into mommy’s meth stash again.

                1. “How did that celebrated NYC salt ban work out? The blogosphere went ape-shit! Ooh, it failed!”

                  Correlation vs causation, anyone? Buehler? Buehler?

        2. So if we complain, we’re out of touch. If it’s defeated, we’re “humiliated”. And if it passes, it only counts as an outlier?

          Please die.

          1. Complain all you want. That’s all you’re good for. Blog commentary is utterly ineffectual, and you know it. Asking me to die (I won’t just yet, thanks) proves it. You’re just pissing in the wind.

            1. You’re a little hyper today, buddy. Did you forget to take your Ritalin? If you take it, we can go get some ice cream. Or maybe a Happy Meal? Would you like that, big guy? You want a toy from a Happy Meal?

              1. “Ritalin”? Ha ha, classic!

                “Ice cream”? You’re too much!

                “Happy meal”? Stop, you’re killing me!

                1. “Happy meal”? Stop, you’re killing me!

                  That’s why the progressives banned happy meals in Cali….

                  1. The toy is the best tasting thing in a Happy Meal.

            2. I totally disagree. Just my opinion, but I credit internet message boards for a couple things. First is 2nd amendment literacy. Virtually nobody is mistaken on the meaning of “militia” today. Few are also genuinely ignorant to the intent of the founding fathers. I credit the internet for that. The level of education did not exist in 1995. A casual look at comment boards today vs. 10+ years ago shows a difference in opinion/education.

              Second, we are far less prone to manipulation by dishonest politicians. Case in point: Comparison / contrast of OKC aftermath vs. the recent Uncle Fester shootings. After OKC, there was an insane backlash against the militias, of which McVeigh was NOT a member and talk radio rhetoric which was also unconnnected to McVeigh. Public opinion was largely directed by politicians and journalist who told everyone what to make of the event – successfully. After the ARizona shootings, and even after it came out the kid was not a tea partier, republican, or conservative, a few people have continued to try to run in the direction of continuing their calls for censorship and regulation in accordance to the opinions they’ve held all along but only now realized they might get traction on. These people today are nearly universally denounced as dishonest assholes. In 1995, they would have have their agendas on lies, innuendo, bigotry/”blood libel”. (“blood libel” is actually an excellent term for discrimination based on the bad acts of one member of a group. That it drives people with Sarah Palin derangement syndrome nuts is a good enough reason to use it, precision be damned)

              1. “have have” = have succeeded in achieving

                just a little short hand I use from time to time…

            3. What if Loughner had read a blog post asking someone to die, Or? Wouldn’t that be just as likely as “Loughner walked past an Ann Coulter book display at Barnes & Noble, and that’s what set him off on his killing spree”?

    3. It is still a travesty even if such bills never become law. Some taxpayers somewhere in Iowa had to work their asses off for a certain period of time so this fat fuck could spend time and money introducing bills like this. State legislature staffs don’t work for free.

  8. What was that German word for “face that needs punching”? Brian Schoenjahn has one.

    1. Hackfresse

  9. If he were to concentrate on those cocktails with the suffix “-tini”, I might be able to get behind him.

    1. What about Gibsons?

  10. Why can’t we just ban politicians.

  11. what a sec. libertarians r all about local & states rights. so if iowians wanna ban caffeinated alcoholic butt pluggs…

    1. Run that through the Child-to-Adult Translator? and resubmit please. Thanks.

      1. that translator came out w “sux a states-rights butt plugg”

        1. We’re not arguing that it is unconstitutional, just stupid. Kind of like you.

    2. Just in case you’re looking for an actual explanation (as opposed to mistakenly believing you just found some glaring contradiction in libertarian philosophy)… Generally speaking, libertarians are pro-state and local control because it gives people a more direct say in how the government is run and it gives them the option of going somewhere else if they don’t like the law. That being said, it doesn’t mean that we must support every state and local law that is passed. We can certainly mock Iowa for being idiots.

      1. Not only that, but we dont acknowledge that states have rights so its impossible for us to support “states rights”.

        Only individuals have rights. States have powers.

        1. Very well said.

        2. Very well said, robc.

        3. True, robc, but I have a loophole of sorts:

          States should have the right to set their own policies, and not have money taken from them (e.g., federal highway funds) only to be returned if states jump through federal hoops (e.g., mandatory seat-belt laws or minimum drinking ages).

          “State autonomy” would be a better term, but it would still be beaten and derided by the likes of the MSNBC talent pool.

    3. Re: OhioOrrin,

      what a sec.

      Why? Was it a good one?

      [L]ibertarians [a]r[e] all about local & states rights. [S]o if [I]owians [sic] wanna ban caffeinated alcoholic butt pluggs…

      … then the inhabitants of planet Iowian should be able to vote on it, yes.

      Now, about those states…

      No, libertarians are not all abou local or state rights – like robc indicates, states do not have rights, only individuals (humans) have rights.

    4. libertarians advocate for states’ rights because we live in a democratic republic, which by design significantly limits federal authority. this is no more evidence than in criminal law (although the feds keep diluting this concept) where what is an A felony in one state can be entirely legal in another.

      this is also in stark contrast to almost every other nation on earth, where the federal govt. is the primary source for criminal law, and even cops etc.

      it does not therefore follow that libertarians support every dumbass law that is passed on the local level merely because it isn’t a violation of limited federal govt power

      this is not a hard concept to grasp

    5. Well sid, Orrin. It would be much better to have this stupid law applied nationwide through some bullshit commerce clause rationalization.

  12. Ow! i tried to put a thought together ans i hurted my brain…..

    1. fortunately ive got a spare.

      1. …in the fridge. i will have it later with fava beans and a nice chianti…fap fap fap fap fap

        1. Stop stalking me, Anonypussy!

    1. If your degrees requires its title to include the word “science” then your degree probably isnt science.

      1. I LOVE this! I’m going to tell it to my friends in Computer Science – to whom it definitely applies!

  13. We need a better class of trolls. Any ideas where we could go to recruit?

    1. try the mission house. alotta (former) libertarians in there.

    2. You get the class of trolls you deserve. Ouch. That hurts.

      1. You just insulted yourself trying so hard to insult us. Fucking. Priceless. Now that’s entertainment.

        1. I know! You suck so bad, you’ve got me as a troll!

          1. If this is someone spoofing you, it’s hilarious. If it is you, it’s…fucking pathetic. Which fits you perfectly.

            1. I know! And you can’t stop responding to me! What a world.

              1. What a world.

                Episiarch, did you pour water on the troll? I think it just melted…

    3. Who gives a fuck about 5 retards in a cirlce jerk?

      1. You. Obviously.

  14. We should just put a bounty on politicians.

  15. Except this particular “Republican” is a DEMOCRAT fuckface.

    Umm, so what? Fuckfaces is fuckfaces.

    1. Agreed
      Only my confirmation bias suggested Sullum got it wrong because this particular kind of nannyism generally originates on the center- left side of the aisle.

  16. Bartender, I’ll have a Red Bull and a doubleshot of Jagermeister. Separate glasses, please.

  17. …any cocktails made with them, such as Black Russians…

    This aggression will not stand, man!

    1. He was a White Russian guy, but close enough for Lebowski quotes I guess.

  18. [Thanks to Mark Lambert for the tip.]

    FWIW:
    I think the tipper is “Corn Guy” and not the Mark Lambert who is a LP guy from California.

    The error in party ID appears to be Sullum.

  19. Well, it’s not like we weren’t all wondering about this very nonsense two months ago.

  20. I think that this bill, while retarded, doesn’t do what Sullum is saying it does. It bans adding caffeine to alcoholic beverages. It does not ban adding a beverage containing caffeine to another, alcoholic beverage. That is, this is going after Four Loko and the like that add caffeine powder, as a seperate ingredient, to an alcoholic beverage, not adding Red Bull to Vodka or whatever. And it certainly wouldn’t apply to anything containing coffee, since caffeine occurs naturally in coffee (it’s not added).

    1. It does ban adding, in the sense that it bans the manufacturing of, and the bill does not say specifically pre-mixed. The bill does not have a exclusion for manufacturing the drink for sale in a bar.

      I think you are correct that the intention is to target drinks like Four Loko. But that’s not how the bill is written.

      If I was the Four Loko people I would come out with a new product that was the alcoholic beverage, with six flavor packs containing caffeine. The buyer can mix it at home.

      S.F. 1 Section 1. Section 123.3, Code 2011, is amended by adding
      1 the following new subsection:
      2 NEW SUBSECTION . 8B. “Caffeinated alcoholic beverage” means
      3 any beverage containing more than one-half of one percent of
      4 alcohol by volume, including alcoholic liquor, wine, and beer,
      5 to which caffeine is added.
      6 Sec. 2. Section 123.49, subsection 2, Code 2011, is amended
      7 by adding the following new paragraph:
      8 NEW PARAGRAPH . m. Manufacture for sale, sell, offer or
      9 keep for sale, import, distribute, transport, or possess any
      10 caffeinated alcoholic beverage.
      11 Sec. 3. Section 123.50, subsection 2, Code 2011, is amended
      12 to read as follows:
      13 2. The conviction of any liquor control licensee, wine
      14 permittee, or beer permittee for a violation of any of the
      15 provisions of section 123.49 , subject to subsection 3 of this
      16 section , is grounds for the suspension or revocation of the
      17 license or permit by the division or the local authority.
      18 However, if any liquor control licensee is convicted of any
      19 violation of subsection 2 , paragraph “a” , “d” , or “e” , or “m”
      20 of that section, or any wine or beer permittee is convicted of
      21 a violation of paragraph “a” , or “e” , or “m” of that section,
      22 the liquor control license, wine permit, or beer permit shall
      23 be revoked and shall immediately be surrendered by the holder,
      24 and the bond, if any, of the license or permit holder shall be
      25 forfeited to the division.
      26 Sec. 4. EFFECTIVE UPON ENACTMENT. This Act, being deemed of
      27 immediate importance, takes effect upon enactment.
      28 EXPLANATION
      29 This bill prohibits the manufacturing for sale, sale,
      30 offering or keeping for sale, importing, distributing,
      31 transporting, or possessing of a caffeinated alcoholic
      32 beverage. The bill defines a caffeinated alcoholic beverage
      33 as any beverage containing more than one-half of 1 percent of
      34 alcohol by volume, including alcoholic liquor, wine, and beer,
      35 -1- LSB 1181XS (2) 84 rn/nh 1/ 2 S.F. 1 to which caffeine is added.

      1 A violation of the bill’s provisions is subject to the
      2 penalty provisions of Code section 123.50. A violation
      3 constitutes a simple misdeameanor punishable by confinement
      4 for no more than 30 days or a fine of at least $65 but not
      5 more than $625 or by both. The bill additionally provides
      6 that a violation shall result in the immediate revocation and
      7 surrender of a liquor control license, wine permit, or beer
      8 permit, and forfeiture of any required bond to the alcoholic
      9 beverages division of the department of commerce.
      10 The bill takes effect upon enactment. 11 -2- LSB 1181XS (2) 84 rn/nh 2/ 2

      1. It does ban adding, in the sense that it bans the manufacturing of, and the bill does not say specifically pre-mixed. The bill does not have a exclusion for manufacturing the drink for sale in a bar.

        What in Geotpf (I like that expression) didn’t you understand? It forbids only the addition of caffeine — neat, pure caffeine — to alcohol beverages, not the creation of any final mixture that has both alcohol and caffeine. Coffee is not caffeine; tea is not caffeine; etc., so you could still legally make & sell many mixtures that contain both alcohol and caffeine, because the caffeine wasn’t added as caffeine.

        1. I don’t know if your interpretation of the proposed law is true or not. What I do know is that if there’s the slightest ambiguity in the laws’s wording on this point, some prosecutor and some court will interpret it as widely as possible, thereby making any mixed drink containing caffeine illegal, even if that was not Schoenjahn’s intent.

          1. So what? There are already tons of ways prosecutors can act like that; this doesn’t appreciably change the situation.

      2. Under this law, couldn’t a bar just sell a customer a red bull and a vodka as seperate drinks (in seperate glasses), then turn the other way while the customer mixes the two together him/herself.

        1. No, because the law bans possession, so if the bartender turned his back, he would be aiding and abetting a criminal act on his property.

    2. And it probably won’t pass. Not that we shouldn’t freak out over it. It’s what we do.

  21. Iowa state Sen. Brian Schoenjahn (R-Arlington) has proposed a bill that would close this dangerous gap by making it a misdemeanor for any business with a liquor license to “manufacture for sale, sell, offer or keep for sale, import, distribute, transport, or possess any caffeinated alcoholic beverage.”

    Oh, shit… Does anybody see the return of speakeasies, this time serving caffeinated beverages? Because I plan to open one in Iowa, as the good representative delivered such a great arbitrage opportunity right at my doorstep.

    Skoal!

  22. It bans adding caffeine to alcoholic beverages. It does not ban adding a beverage containing caffeine to another, alcoholic beverage.

    If you add a beverage containing caffeine (including coffee) to another alcoholic beverage, you have added caffeine to the alcoholic beverage. So yes, it does ban mixed drinks.

    Maybe he didn’t intend to, but apparently he’s too fucking stupid to realize that’s exactly what he did. Exactly what language is in that bill that limits it to the addition of unadulterated pure caffeine? All the relevant language is quoted above.

    1. Four Loko could really piss these people off by offering a caffinated flavor pack to mix with your favorite alcoholic beverage.

      Of course the bill doesn’t exclude people mixing in their own home either.

      1. The flavor pack would be a stand alone item.

      2. “Of course the bill doesn’t exclude people mixing in their own home either”

        …yet.

        1. The bill applies only to licensees and permittees.

          1. …for the moment, Robert. NEVER put anything past the nanny-staters.

    2. Exactly what language is in that bill that limits it to the addition of unadulterated pure caffeine?

      The use of the word “caffeine” and much established food & drug law, state and federal, that says that you write a provision that way when that’s what’s meant. Otherwise it would have to say it’s illegal to make & sell a mixture containing alcohol & caffeine.

      Thus is commonly understood that when a beverage says, “no sugar added” or “no water added”, it refers to exactly that, and does not mean the product is free of water or sugar. And yes, that does mean that products can legally be labeled as having no added sugar even if it has such a sweetener added as apple or grape juice concentrate.

      1. So, if I mix my pure caffeine powder with water, then I can add it to my pre-packaged helljuice without running afoul of this law?

        Somehow, I don’t think so.

        1. No, because then you’re just using the water as a solvent in the mfg. process. But if you use a cola which has been prepared by its own mfr. by adding caffeine, you’re in the clear.

  23. How about if you start with the caffeinated beverage and add the alcohol?

    So a Bourbon and Coke would now be illegal, but a Coke abd Bourbon would still be OK.

  24. I nominate Iowa state Sen. Brian Schoenjahn (R-Arlington) for nanny of the month.

  25. Does Iowa law prohibit the mixing of, say, a 2×4 and a legislator’s head in the same time/space locus?

  26. Anyone know where Carrie Nation is buried? I have an overwhelming urge to go piss on her grave.

    -jcr

  27. Of COURSE he’s a DemoRat- Democrat is Latin for Meddlesome snot.

  28. fucking scumbag

  29. It’s just depressing.

  30. Someone needs to ban this guy next time his seat’s up for re-election.

  31. Thank you for taking the time to publish this information very useful!Mulberry handbags

  32. No, the “D” is for d***head.

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