Those who drink diet soda with alcohol may be at an increased risk of receiving a DWI. A study, recently released in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, found those who mixed their alcoholic beverages with diet soda instead of regular soda experienced increased intoxication levels.
The increase was significant. Breath alcohol tests found those who used regular soda had readings around 0.077 while those who used diet soda read 0.09. In Texas, this variation could mean the difference between a warning and a conviction for driving while intoxicated or DWI.
Details of the study
The study, conducted through Northern Kentucky University, compared the impact of alcohol on the consumer’s body when mixed with diet or regular soda. Participants consumed vodka mixed with regular Squirt, vodka mixed with diet Squirt or a placebo that contained regular Squirt with a small amount of vodka to mimic the smell of alcohol.
Researchers found that the digestive system treated regular soda like a food item. The sugar within the regular soda slowed the digestive process. This caused alcohol to enter the bloodstream at a more moderate pace giving the liver time to filter it out of the blood. When the sugar is not present, like in diet soda, the alcohol is not inhibited from entering the bloodstream and the liver cannot filter it out as quickly. As a result, alcohol concentration readings in those who consumed alcohol with diet soda were higher.
In Texas, it is illegal to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, of 0.08 or higher. Violation is a misdemeanor, and can be accompanied with an imprisonment of 72 hours. Various factors can increase the penalty. This can include repeat offenses, presence of a minor in the vehicle and a BAC reading over 0.15.
A DWI conviction can result in more than monetary penalties and imprisonment. Many employers conduct background checks before hiring employees. In some cases, this can show a DWI conviction or charge and may be taken into consideration when making the hiring determination.
Having a DWI on record can also result in increased auto and even life insurance rates. Schools and universities may also disqualify applicants from scholarship opportunities and residential facilities like apartment complexes may deny a tenant’s application.
As a result, it is important to take DWI charges seriously. Contact an experienced DWI lawyer to discuss your situation and better ensure you legal rights are protected.