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New Study Shows Energy Drinks May Contribute to Drunk Driving

We often see advertisements for beer and liquor showing everyone having a good time, then some fine print saying the maker of that particular alcoholic beverage urges people to drink responsibility. As we know from the thousands of drunk driving accidents each year, many do not take this advice.

red-bull-boat-359586-m.jpgA recent news feature from Fox News looks at how energy drinks may encourage drunk driving. One study cited in the article involved a survey of over 350 college and university students. Of those surveyed, 107 reported to drink alcohol and energy drinks together. This should come as no surprise, given the popularity of drinks that mix energy drinks and alcohol at many bars.

Within that group of 107, nearly 60 percent said they had driven a motor vehicle when they knew they were too intoxicated to drive. Among those who only drank alcohol and did not mix it with energy drinks, there was a less than 50 percent finding of knowingly driving while intoxicated.

Researches believe this is because energy drinks are known to change the brain chemistry of users and can make them feel more confident in their abilities. In addition to driving drunk, these combined users also reported far greater incidents of riding as a passenger in a car with a driver known to be too drunk to drive.

Additionally, combined users were shown to drink more frequently than those students who only consumed alcohol. It should be noted that causation is not proven in this study, meaning that it is not established energy drinks caused a reduction in inhibitions. It could be those with a tendency for this negligent behavior are more likely to drink energy drinks and alcohol together.

Some researchers, however, believe there is causal link and claim this problem is exacerbated by the fact energy drink ingredients like taurine can cause users to get drunk faster.

As our Boston drunk driving accident lawyers can explain, these combined users may feel more confident in their ability to drive safely while drunk, but they are very much mistaken.

Extensive research has shown that at blood alcohol level above the legal limit of 0.08 grams of ethanol (drinking alcohol) per l00 milliliters of blood as it is the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, drivers cannot perform the tasks necessary to drive in safe manner.

Driving a car is a divided attention activity, which requires a person to make numerous movements and counter movements in a split-second fashion that are virtually impossible to do while intoxicated.

In addition to being irresponsible and dangerous, driving drunk is also negligent and can subject the at-fault driver to liability in a car accident lawsuit. Every driver in the Commonwealth has a duty of care to act in a reasonable and prudent manner to prevent foreseeable injury to foreseeable plaintiffs.

It is well-established law in Massachusetts that drunk driving is a breach of one’s duty of care and others who share the roads and sidewalks of the Commonwealth are generally foreseeable plaintiffs in a car accident civil action.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Boston drunk driving accident, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.

More Blog Entries:

Teens Don’t Fully Understand What it Means to Drive Drunk
, April 4, 2014, Boston Drunk Driving Injury Lawyer Blog