Store owner defends ban on sale of energy drinks to minors

If you happen to visit K-Dan's Super Foods on FM 105 in Orangefield and are in the mood for a Red Bull, you better have your ID.

Store policy says you must 18 to buy energy drinks, something that bothers 17-year-old Brayce Alford, who attends Orangefield High School just down the road.

"I think I should be able to buy energy drinks because it helps you during the day with school," Alford said.

The store's owner, Kenneth Smith, told 12News he has had the policy for at least the past 3 years. He said the reason for the policy is to help prevent teens from mixing alcohol with the drinks, a practice Smith says he was made aware of by parents in the small community.

Alford doesn't deny it is a common practice among her classmates.

Smith said he decided to ban the sale of energy drinks to minors after he saw a couple of high school students each buy 10 or so of the drinks at once. He said that was a red flag.

Smith said he would rather be known for doing what he believes is right for the community's youth than enabling teen drinking habits.

"That's the business' decision... they can refuse to sell anything to anybody they please," said Orangefield resident Josh Lista.

Big cities like New York and Chicago have tried to ban the sale of energy drinks to minors in years past, but for health reasons.

Smith says he does occasionally get young customers who complain about the policy, but says at the end of they day he at least has a clear conscience.


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