A recent study published by renowned University of Florida researchers and picked up on by James Wigmore indicates that the consumption of energy drinks increases a person’s risk of drinking and driving. The University of Florida researchers collected data from Wednesday through Saturday nights at a nearby college bar during April 2008. The researchers divided the drinkers into groups who consumed alcohol alone (602), drinkers who consumed energy drinks and alcohol, but not mixed (46) and drinkers who consumed energy drinks mixed with alcohol (45).
Interestingly, 82% of the drinkers who consumed at least one energy drink and one alcoholic drink during the evening, but did not mix them, were male. I’m not sure what can be extrapolated from this correlation other than to say that southern men like their shot of vodka on the side as appose to being mixed with red bull like southern women. Even more striking than men preferring their alcohol straight up as appose to being mixed with red bull is what the researchers uncovered in terms of what happens to a person’s BAC if they mixed alcohol with an energy drink. According to the study, individuals who mixed alcohol with an energy drink had a 300% increase in their chances of leaving the bar with a BAC level above .08%! Simply put, if you mix alcohol with an energy drink when you go out, you are three times more likely to have a BAC above State College’s legal driving limit of .08%. Just something to consider before you order your next red bull and vodka.