Alcoholic energy drinks provide the intoxication of alcohol combined with a jolt of caffeine-energy.  Whether alcohol is combined with the energy or drink or it is in one the new caffeinated alcoholic beverages, such as Miller Brewing Company’s Sparks and Bud Extra from Anheuser-Busch, mixing caffeine and alcohol can have deadly effects.

A University of Florida study published in the journal ‘Addictive Behaviors’ surveyed college-aged adults exiting bars. The researchers found that those who consumed energy drinks were three times more likely to leave the bar highly intoxicated and were four times more likely to drive or intend to drive while intoxicated.  The average breath-alcohol concentration reading for those who mixed alcohol and energy drinks was 0.109, well above the legal driving limit of 0.08
They also found that those who drink the caffeinated beverages tend to drink more often, binge drink more often, and are more likely to engage in risky behavior, such as driving with a drunken driver, than those who drink alcohol alone. 
This may be because the caffeine prevents the drinker from feeling the full effects of their alcohol impairment.
 
Another study which was published in the journal  ‘Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research’ showed that the drinkers of caffeinated alcoholic beverages reported feeling fewer symptoms of intoxication while drinking although coordination tests showed they were in fact impaired and that caffeine increases the level of impairment.
 
Experts believe that as many as 28 percent of college-age drinkers consume alcohol mixed with caffeine.

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James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.