Mixing Alcohol with Energy Drinks

Not long after energy drinks, such as Monster and Red Bull hit the market, people began to realize that like soda, energy drinks mix well with alcohol. Go to any bar or night club in Orange County and you’ll hear people ordering popular drinks like a “vodka and sugar-free Red Bull.” After all, the energy drinks give them stamina to stay up till dawn.

The question is, do energy drinks really counteract intoxication by waking you up, or do they have a more sinister effect upon the wide awake drunk? The combination of alcohol, caffeine and other stimulants like ginseng and taurine can create a unique, yet confusing type of intoxication – one where a person is more alert, yet less aware of their actual degree of intoxication.


Two studies addressed the impact of energy drinks when consumed with alcohol, and how this can affect intoxication. The first study, by the Australian National University by the Center for Research on Aging, Health and Well-Being found that mixing alcohol and energy drinks increased the urge to drink more alcohol.

Participants took part in a survey 20 minutes before and 20 minutes after drinking their beverages to measure their desire to continue drinking, and participants who consumed the mixtures containing energy drinks reported a greater urge to continue drinking.

The second study by Wake Forest University addressed the impact of a stimulant, like an energy drink, may have on a person when they simultaneously consume alcohol. The study found that students were less aware of their own intoxication when they combined stimulants with alcohol. They were also less aware of intoxication in others.

To learn more about mixing energy drinks with alcohol, check out: “Mixing energy drinks and alcohol can ‘prime’ you for a binge” on today.com.

What if I Like Energy Drinks & Alcohol?

When you consider that energy drinks mixed with alcohol can increase the urge to continue drinking while also reducing one's perception of their own level of intoxication, it’s easy to see how this could increase the odds of unwittingly driving under the influence.

Our advice is to be careful when mixing alcohol and energy drinks like Red Bull, Monster or 5-hour Energy. These drinks can quickly catch up to you. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re pulled over for DUI, always remember to:

  • Politely refuse to say how if or how much you had to drink.
  • Politely refuse to take the field sobriety tests.
  • Decline to answer any questions without your attorney present.
  • You can decline a PAS test before an arrest, but after an arrest if you decline a breath test, your license will be automatically suspended for one year.

The Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. is committed to providing superior DUI defense counsel. To learn more about DUI charges and the steps we can take to protect yourself, call our office for a free, confidential consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!

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