Aim: To assess event-level associations between energy drink consumption, alcohol intoxication, and intention to drive a motor vehicle in patrons exiting bars at night.
Method: Alcohol field study. Data collected in a U.S. college bar district from 802 randomly selected and self-selected patrons. Anonymous interview and survey data were obtained as well as breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) readings.
Results: Results from logistic regression models revealed that patrons who had consumed alcohol mixed with energy drinks were at a 3-fold increased risk of leaving a bar highly intoxicated (BrAC> or =0.08g/210L), as well as a 4-fold increased risk of intending to drive upon leaving the bar district, compared to other drinking patrons who did not consume alcoholic beverages mixed with energy drinks.
Discussion: These event-level associations provide additional evidence that energy drink consumption by young adults at bars is a marker for elevated involvement in nighttime risk-taking behavior. Further field research is needed to develop sound regulatory policy on alcohol/energy drink sales practices of on-premise establishments.
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