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Alcohol in the News

Girl, 13, Survives Alcohol Poisoning
Wed May 1, 7:55 AM ET

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. (AP) - A 13-year-old girl survived a case of alcohol poisoning after drinking 4 to 5 ounces of tequila on her middle school playground.

The girl, whose name was not released, was taken to Children's Hospital in Denver last week with a blood-alcohol level of 0.24 percent, more than twice the legal threshold for an adult to considered drunk, investigators said.

Police said the girl told them Tuesday she drank the tequila from a water bottle on the playground of Wheat Ridge Middle School. Four to 5 ounces is the equivalent of about three shots.

The school banned students from bringing liquids in bottles onto school grounds for the rest of the academic year.

Parents Warned About Gelatin 'Zippers'

Parents are being warned about "Zippers," packaged cups of fruit-flavored gelatin containing 12 percent alcohol, USA Today reported April 29.

Zippers, marketed with bright colors and cheery labels, look like the gelatin dessert packs that thousands of youngsters take to school every day, critics say.

"Zippers may be dangerous because they come packaged in containers that look like any other snack pack or after-school snack a child may put in their lunch box," Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) said in a recent alert.

Marketed by BPNC, a small Ohio company, Zippers are the first commercially produced version of "Jell-O shots," the sweet, chilled alcoholic drinks that are popular at beach bars and college parties.

According to CADCA, "Zippers are being marketed in ways that appeal to an underage audience."

The claim is denied by Burt Brooks, who started BPNC with several friends. He said Zippers are being marketed to 24- to 44-year-old women who like "entertaining, nights out with friends, and fun with no regrets."

"We went above and beyond what the states and federal government require," said Brooks. He said that Zippers' packaging is clearly marked with a government alcohol warning and a picture of a baby with a red slash through it to indicate that the product isn't for children.

"If you leave a rum and Coke on your table, a kid will drink that and mistake it for a Coke just like they might mistake our product for regular Jell-O," he said. "You have to supervise your children."

Zippers are sold in bars, liquor stores, and grocery stores in 26 states.

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