Most understand the risks involved with getting behind the wheel drunk. The problem is that many people do not recognize the telltale signs that they had too much to drink. Often, you hear drunk drivers claim that they were sober enough to be behind the wheel, that they only had a couple of drinks and hence can drive as well as they did sober. Unfortunately, this is not often the case and often, drivers underestimate how intoxicated they are. This is worse with substances like caffeine.
At parties, people often drink caffeine to remain alert and awake. It is common to mix energy drinks with alcohol. The problem with this, according to the CDC is that mixing alcohol and caffeine can mask the depressant effects. In 2017, over 30 percent of young adults admitted to mixing energy drinks and alcohol with one another. Likewise, young drinkers who indulge in energy drinks with alcohol are more likely to binge drink than other drinkers.
The problem with feeling alert is that you are not truly alert when you are mixing alcohol and energy drinks. It is only an illusion. When drinking energy drinks with alcohol, you still lack coordination and your reflex time is still down. However, the difference is that you do not feel the effects of alcohol. You will not feel sleepy or worn out and instead you may feel like you could do anything that you set your mind to, including driving. This is partially what makes drunk driving and energy drinks worse. You do not have the signals to tell you to stop or to tell you that you should not drive under the influence.