Whether because they’re cutting calories or because the like the taste, there are a whole lot of people that use diet sodas as mixers and chasers while drinking. What most people don’t know though is that drinking alcohol with artificial sweeteners can actually make your BAC drastically higher than if you drank something with real sugar or high fructose calories, making you more likely to get a DUI.
The Science Behind Diet Sodas and Higher BAC
A study performed in 2014 found that when people drink the same amount of alcohol with a diet soda mixer as they did with a soda containing traditional sugars, the BAC results ended up as much as 18% higher, which is absolutely enough to make the difference between someone getting a DUI or not. Interestingly, researchers found that the drinkers did not actually feel any more intoxicated though their BAC was so much higher.
Diet Sodas Don’t Actually Increase BAC
Interestingly, diet soda doesn’t actually increase your blood alcohol content at all. In fact, the study actually discovered that regular soda instead reduces your BAC slightly. That’s because sugary drinks have slow down the absorption of alcohol from the stomach to the bloodstream. This is the same reason that eating food will also help slow down the absorption of alcohol.
Is This Not a Defense to DUIs
Because diet sodas don’t artificially increase a person’s BAC, claiming that you got a DUI because you used a sugarless mixer isn’t going to help you much in court. That being said, you don’t have to give up having a diet soda in your favorite cocktail just because you plan on driving later. Instead, leave yourself plenty of time between finishing the drink and getting behind the wheel as the spike in BAC comes quickly but also dissipates after a while.
On the other hand, things like low-carb diets and fevers, actually falsely inflate a breathalyzer test, which means these could actually serve as DUI defenses. This is a good reason that it is so important to refuse to answer any police questions without your attorney present in order to avoid saying something that could harm your defense later.
If you have been charged with drunk driving, you can fight the charges, but it is critical you call a lawyer as soon as possible. Please call (760) 643-4050 or (858) 486-3024 to schedule a free initial consultation Peter Liss.