Thursday, 5 February 2015

Is a drink driving conviction more likely if you mix alcohol and energy drinks?

Could energy drinks increase your chance of a drink driving conviction?

An interesting new study on drinking and driving from a the University of Western States in Oregan, USA has been published, which shows that people who mix energy drinks with alcohol may be more likely to drink drive than those who consume only alcohol.

The study looked at 355 people who consume alcohol.  The researchers found that 57% of those who consumed alcohol mixed with energy drinks admitted that they had driven while above the drink driving limit.  In contrast, 44% of those who consumed alcoholic drinks not mixed with alcohol admitted to drink driving.

The author of the report, Conrad Woolsey said, “From a physiological standpoint, [drinking energy drinks] does change the brain chemistry to make you more confident”.  Woolsey went on to say that energy drinks may increase levels of dopamine, making people feel like they are more capable of certain actions.  This might explain why those consuming energy drinks with their alcohol were more likely to drink drive.

People who mixed energy drinks with alcohol were more likely to drink more frequently and had more episodes of binge drinking.  More frequent drinking sessions may also explain why mixed drink consumers are more likely to drink drive – because a large number of people are caught drink driving the morning after a heavy session!

None of this means that you will be safe to drive after consuming alcoholic drinks that are not mixed with energy drinks.

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