Maryland Considers Energy Drink Ban

- HAGERSTOWN, Md. - Maryland is considering banning minors from purchasing energy drinks. This comes after a 14-year-old Hagerstown girl died from consuming 48 oz. of Monster in one day back in 2011.

If some Montgomery County law makers have their way, energy drinks like Red Bull and Rock Star would be off limits to children.

According to the legislation, an energy drink is any beverage containing more than 71 milligrams of caffeine in a 12-oz. container.

“Thirty-one grams of sugar in a Mountain Dew, so if you're going to ban underage kids from drinking energy drinks then you would have to ban them from drinking soda all together,” said Jason Patterson, a beverage company route driver.

If retailers defy the ban, they are subject to a fine anywhere between $500 for a first offense to $2,000 anytime after that.

“It hurts the business and the sales of Red Bulls and Monsters,” said Larry Keyser, a liquor store clerk.

Minors convicted of possessing an energy drink may be fined $50 for the first offense and $100 anytime after that.

"It gives us a chance to stay awake in school and gives us better grades, and keeps us active and proactive,” said Jason James, an energy drink consumer.

The FDA suggests that about 200 milligrams of caffeine per day is not harmful.

The next hearing on the bill is March 7, 2014 in Annapolis.

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