Monday, November 9, 2009

Potential effect of alcohol content in energy drinks on breath alcohol testing

An Energy Drink & Alcohol mix man mean a California DUI. Folks love caffeine and not just in coffee. When you mix alcohol with energy drinks, the combination could cause trouble & confustion.

Since the advent of energy drinks in the U.S. marketplace, some defendants have claimed that positive breath alcohol test results have occurred due to the ingestion of non-alcoholic energy drinks. A variety of energy drinks were tested by gas chromatography and some 88.9% (24 of 27) were found to contain low concentrations of ethanol (5-230 mg/dL). Drinks were then consumed (24.6-32 oz) by volunteers to determine the extent of reaction that could be achieved on a portable breath-testing instrument. Eleven of 27 (40.7%) beverages gave positive results on a portable breath-testing instrument (0.006-0.015 g/210 L) when samples were taken within 1 min of the end of drinking. All tests taken by portable breath test, DataMaster, and Intox EC/IR II at least 15 min after the end of drinking resulted in alcohol-free readings (0.000 g/210 L). Affording subjects a minimum 15-min observation period prior to breath-alcohol testing eliminates the possibility that a small false-positive alcohol reading will be obtained.
[J Anal Toxicol. 2009 Apr;33(3):167- 9.
Potential effect of alcohol content in energy drinks on breath alcohol testing.
Lutmer B, Zurfluh C, Long C.
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, State Public Health Laboratory, Breath Alcohol Program, 2875 James Blvd., Poplar Bluff, Missouri 63901, USA. brian.lutmer@dhss.mo.gov]

Rcently Wake Forest University School of Medicine released research about the health effects that occur when alcohol and energy drinks are mixed together. That study shows that people double their risk of being hurt, injured, requiring medical attention, driving with an intoxicated driver, being taken advantage of sexually or taking advantage of another sexually. Perhaps most significantly for California DUI defense attorneys, only the symptoms of drunkenness are reduced but not the drunkenness.

What does this mean for California DUI defense lawyers?

Folks can't tell if they're drunk, according to the study. So people will get behind the wheel and not feel drunk, yet they could be arrested for California Drunk Driving.

Because caffeine is a stimulant and alcohol is a depressant, they counteract each other, which makes people not realize how much alcohol they have ingested. One's California DUI BAC [Blood Alcohol Concentration] is still the same, but the effects are being masked by the caffeine, say Wellness Education dietitians.

After caffeine wears off, the person will feel the full effects of the alcohol. California DUI criminal attorneys will still have to deal with the California DUI BAC number.

Some findings from the 4,000 person survey of college students revealed that students are combining the two so they can drink more and stay out longer without feeling the effects.

Some California DUI criminal lawyers believe the danger lies in the increased amount of alcohol that people drink, assuming they have not yet reached a dangerous level. It may lead to people making decisions they normally would not such as driving drunk.

This relatively new combination has become popular among college students. But this drink is not popular only around California colleges. Mixing caffeine and alcohol is known to have grown in the past years nationwide with the onset of energy drinks' popularity. It is popular for many people to mix energy drinks with alcohol while they're drinking.

This possible risk that accompanies the mix of caffeine and alcohol does not seem to deter people from buying the drink. Which means many at some point may need a California DUI lawyer.