Sunday, December 24, 2006

Teens petition to reclassify sugar drinks as "spirits"

The California teen group "Friday Night Live" [website] has petitioned the state California Board of Equalization to classify alcoholic drinks such as Smirnoff Ice, Mike's Hard Lemonade and Bacardi Silver as "spirits" instead of as "beer." These high-sugar drinks are targeted at teens and packaged to resemble soda pop or juice drinks, they say.

If the Board agrees, the price of the drinks would go up significantly. In California, "beer" is taxed at 20 cents per gallon, and "spirits" at $3.30 per gallon. The Board is expected to take several months to make a decision. Details.