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Alcohol Energy Drinks: It's Still Not OK To Drive

Alcohol Energy Drinks

First Posted: 02/17/11 03:08 PM ET Updated: 05/25/11 07:35 PM ET

Seems intuitive enough, mixing caffeine with alcohol to counteract any driving impairment. But no no, it isn't so.

Researchers at Boston University School of Public Health [BUSPH] and the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University discovered that adding caffeine to your alcohol consumption won't improve driving performance or even reaction times.

The study, published in the journal Addiction, examined 129 people ranging in age from 21 to 30. Some drank alcohol with caffeine and some without. After 30 minutes both groups were placed in a driving simulator, and as expected, both groups' driving ability was worse. The caffeine had no effect.

The study noted:

There appears to be little or no protective benefit from the addition of caffeine to alcohol, with respect to the safe execution of activities that require sustained attention with rapid, accurate decisions.

It's yet another blow for the unhappy marriage of caffeine and alcohol. Late last year alcohol energy drinks were riddled by controversy after brands -- most notably, Four Loko -- were connected to hospitalizations on college campuses around the country. Consequently, the makers of Four Loko, Joose, Core High Gravity HG Orange, and Moonshot received warning letters from the FDA and promises from politicians to ban the drinks entirely.

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Filed by Nicholas Miriello  |