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Diet soda: light on calories but high in intoxication risk?

Think that you are being healthier by ordering a rum and diet coke instead of just a plain rum and coke? If you are watching your waistline, then you are on the right track. While the number on the scale might stay low, the number that shows up on a breath test might be quite high.

A recent study measures the difference in breath alcohol concentration levels among those who drank alcoholic drinks mixed with regular soda and alcoholic drinks mixed with diet soda. The study indicates that those who consumed the diet mixtures measured in with significantly higher BAC levels than their sugar-loving counterparts.

Both men and women subjects participated in the study. The researchers were consistent in giving the subjects drinks that made for effective comparisons regarding gender and weight. The study, though limited in its number of subjects, suggests that those who mix their drinks with diet soda had BAC levels about 18 percent higher than those who drank the same amount of alcohol but with sugar soda as a mixer.

This study begs for more research of this matter. Using blood tests to measure BAC levels is more effective, for example. Still, the research provides knowledge for those who want to avoid driving while impaired. To more responsibly enjoy alcohol, perhaps it is best to indulge in some regular soda for an evening.

The study also could suggest that breath tests continue to be unpredictable and potentially unreliable sources of evidence. Our New Jersey criminal defense lawyers know it is important to challenge a breath test when a client is facing drunk driving charges. Not only are the machines often unreliable, but the officers who administer the tests can make mistakes when collecting the evidence.

Source: Fox News, "Diet or regular? Choice of alcohol mixer affects intoxication," Rachael Rettner, Feb. 6, 2013

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