September 29, 2016

RED BULL GIVES YOU DUI: Non-alcoholic energy drinks that give you wings linked to drunk driving.

In a six-year study following 1,000 college students, researchers found that the more non-alcoholic energy drinks a person reported throwing back, the more likely they were to drive drunk. The finding squares with past studies that have linked alcoholic energy drinks to such dangerous behaviors. However, the study, published Tuesday in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, is the first to decouple the bad effects of alcohol from those of the energy drinks alone.

“[The] results shed light on the complexity of the relationship between [energy drink] consumption patterns and an important public health problem: drunk driving,” noted the authors of the study, led by public health researcher Amelia Arria of the University of Maryland.

How exactly a non-alcoholic beverage correlates to more drunk driving—which obviously involves alcohol—is not yet clear from the survey data, the authors note. However, the researchers speculate that drinking energy drinks prior to or alongside alcoholic ones may allow a drinker to become “wide-awake drunk,” paving the way for more drinking and risky behavior such as drunk driving.

Legal or otherwise, it’s never a good idea to mix uppers and downers.

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