By James Atkinson

Adelaide City Council's call for a ban on the sale of energy drinks in the city after 2am has been heavily criticised by the Australian Beverages Council.

The South Australian Government's Draft Late Night Trading Code of Practice, which has faced strong opposition from pubs and as well as from bar operators, would ban the sale of shots or other high-alcohol drinks after 2am.

But a submission by Adelaide City Council on the code says it does not go far enough and should also restrict the sale and supply of energy drinks.

Australian Beverages Council CEO Geoff Parker today responded that it is not mixers that are causing anti-social behaviour.

"The Lord Mayor and Council chief executive both know that consuming excessive amounts of alcohol – whether that be before people leave their home on a night out or in licensed venues, is the cause of late night problems in and around premises," Parker said.

"Blaming a non-alcoholic mixer that contains only 80mg of caffeine in a standard 250ml can – which is the same as a cup of instant coffee – and comprises less than one per cent of overall bar sales in Australia is a step too far," he said.

"It's not the mixer that's the problem and any assertion that such a small percentage of sales is causing problems is without grounds."

Parker said research by leading global authorities like the UK Government's Committee on Toxicology and the European Food Safety Authority have both recently concluded that the evidence does not support a harmful toxicological or behavioural interaction between caffeine and alcohol. 

"Furthermore, a 2013 survey of over 1,200 Australians aged between 18-34 revealed that only 10 per cent of people drink energy drinks on a night out," he added.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

Join the Conversation


  1. Oh look – surprise surprise. An organisation whose members make millions out of selling the product don’t want it banned. Conflict of interest anyone? How about you ask the medical personnel who have to deal with these idiots who are high on a mixture of energy drinks and alcohol what they think.

  2. Implying that it is only after 2am, (or midnight, or any other particular time), that reckless drinking occurs, continues to seriously endanger any progressive approach to harm minimization and general alcohol policy.

    Separately, there may not be chemical reasons behind the effects of energy drinks and alcohol, but the psychological ones – as in, what is the motivation for a person to drink alcohol with energy drinks – points to the intention of someone’s drinking behaviour.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *