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Drunk Driving and Energy Drinks – Could There Be a Link?

by John Gomez | Last Updated: October 11, 2016
Drunk Driving

In recent years, energy drinks have gained enormous popularity, particularly with younger adults.  What used to be coffee and then soda has now become several products that most people would instantly recognize.  According to several estimates, the top 5 selling energy drinks on the market in the United States collectively exceeded $10 billion in sales in 2015 alone.  As energy drink sales have soared, soda sales have sagged.  Energy drinks feature high amounts of caffeine.  They market themselves as ‘giving someone a boost’ or even giving someone wings.  Recently, a group of researchers decided to look into whether or not the consumption of energy drinks had anything to do with drunk driving.  According to the results of the study, that reality is quite possible.

About the Study

Those interested in reading an abstract of the study can find it here.  The researchers conducted the study by following and interviewing 1,000 college students for a period of six years.  Specifically, the researchers tracked the following information:

  • The number of times the students engaged in drunk driving in the previous year
  • The tendency of consuming alcohol with energy drinks
  • The frequency of consuming alcohol without energy drinks
  • How often the subjects consumed energy drinks without alcohol
  • Other caffeine consumption

The researchers came to the following conclusions:

  • 57 percent of the subjects consumed energy drinks during the previous year.
  • 71 percent of energy drink consumers had mixed them with alcohol.
  • 85 percent of the subjects drank energy drinks without alcohol at some point.
  • 15 percent of the subjects drank energy drinks with alcohol exclusively.

The researchers found two statistical correlations:

  1. A direct correlation between consuming energy drinks and drunk driving frequency; and
  2. An indirect correlation between drinking energy drinks with alcohol through the frequency of consuming alcohol to the frequency of drunk driving.

Energy Drinks and Drunk Driving – What Does All This Mean?

The researchers concluded that while there they did not find direct causation, there was both direct and indirect correlation between the consumption of energy drinks and the tendency to engage in drunk driving among the subjects.  The researchers also called for additional study into this topic.  That’s because if there is some sort of link between these factors it could lead to the necessity to take additional steps to help prevent drunk driving.

Aside from what this study shows, it is inarguable that drunk driving is still an enormous problem in the United States.  According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, nearly 10,000 people are killed every year in drunk driving accidents.  That’s more than 27 people every single day.  Given this reality, we all need to continue to look into ways in which drunk driving occurs so that we can come up with ideas to put a stop to it.

If you or someone you love has been injured or worse in a drunk driving accident, you need to seek the help of car accident lawyers who have been holding those responsible for this type of harm for more than a decade.  Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today to schedule a free initial consultation.


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