There is a dangerous misconception amongst many young drivers that a few energy drinks after a night of drinking will protect them on the road. This is a very dangerous misconception which can now be addressed with scientific evidence to the contrary!
We would like to refer to the findings from a study by the University of Florida:
University of Florida researchers surveyed more than 800 college-age patrons leaving bars between 22:00 and 03:00. The participants were asked about their energy drink and alcohol consumption and then had their breath-alcohol concentration levels measured.
The 6.5% of participants who said they’d been drinking alcohol mixed with energy drinks were three times more likely to be drunk than those who consumed alcohol only. The average breath-alcohol reading for those who consumed alcohol and energy drinks was 0.109, well above the legal limit of 0.08, the study authors noted.
The Journal Addictive Behaviors revealed more information on the dangers of mixing energy drinks with alcohol:
- Bar patrons who mixed alcohol and energy drinks left the bar later
- They drank for longer periods of time
- They were four times more likely to say they planned to drive within the hour, compared to those who drank alcohol only.
“There’s a very common misconception that if you drink caffeine with an alcoholic beverage, the stimulant effect of the caffeine counteracts the depressant effect of the alcohol, and that is not true,” study co-author Bruce Goldberger, director of toxicology in the University of Florida College of Medicine, said in a news release from the school.
What are the risks of caffeine mixed with alcohol?
Caffeine simply reduces the sleepy feeling caused by alcohol. This condition, described as “wide awake and drunk,” can lead to risky behaviours, Goldberger explained.
It’s believed that as many as 28% of college drinkers consume alcohol mixed with energy drinks in a typical month.
Young drivers are facing very expensive car insurance premiums and are perceived as a high risk category of drivers. Many of these accidents occur late at night when driving home after a night of clubbing. We would like to urge all young drivers to be aware of the risks of drinking and driving – and not to drive with the misconception that energy drinks will enhance their safety!!
Avoid these accidents – not only to save on car insurance premiums – but for the sake of the safety of all road users!!