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Caffeine + Stimulants + Alcohol = danger on the roads.

This is the new math. With several hundred different energy drinks on the market, today’s young people can legally buy a "buzz in a can" from the billion dollar "energy drink" industry. And, when these concoctions are mixed with alcohol, you get a "wide awake drunk" who is a danger to themselves and anyone they encounter on the road.

Most of us do not realize how dangerous Alcoholic Energy Drinks (AEDs) are for young people and adults. When a person mixes the depressant in alcohol and the stimulant in energy drinks they get what is referred to as a “wide-awake drunk.” AEDs are a very big problem for young people. Energy drinks were once just a fad among our youth, but they have now become a staple in their lives. Energy drinks, which contain large doses of caffeine, ephedrine, guarana, taurine ginseng, and now alcohol, became a $4.8 billion industry in the United States last year. The newest trend of energy drinks has been referred to as “speedball in a can.” AEDs are prepackaged beverages that contain alcohol, caffeine and other stimulants.

This is important because alcohol is one of the leading causes of death among young people. Also, alcohol consumption can cause permanent brain damage because the human brain continues to develop into a person’s mid-twenties. The Marin Institute performed an in-depth study on the effects of mixing energy drinks with alcohol. Researchers found in this study that: “The subjects’ performance was significantly worse after ingesting the AED despite their perception of increased alertness and reduced intoxication.”

Alcohol and energy drinks create a dangerous mix. The caffeine, a stimulant in these drinks, disguises the intoxicating effects of alcohol. Fatigue is the body’s way of saying it’s had enough to drink. High doses of caffeine mask the body’s natural way of alerting a person to stop drinking. The alcoholic beverages industry, as a whole, refuses to alert users to the potential for misjudging one’s intoxication. Instead, the industry suggests that the beverages will enhance alertness and energy. It is predicted that companies in this industry will gross $10 billion yearly by 2010. And, at this rate of growth, the potential problems and dangers are only going to get worse. If you or someone you know has been injured by a drunk, impaired or caffeinated and intoxicated driver, e-mail us at ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd., or call 703-796-9555 today.

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