A comparison of the combined-use of alcohol & energy drinks to alcohol-only on high-risk drinking and driving behaviors. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: The combined-use of alcohol and energy drinks is an emerging public health issue. This investigation examined differences in drinking and driving behaviors among combined-users (CU) and participants who consumed alcohol-only (AO). OBJECTIVES: This study was specifically designed to investigate potential differences in drinker's perceptions of (a) what it means to them to drive over the .08 Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) driving limit and (b) what it means to drive after knowing they have had too much to drink to drive safely. METHODS: College students (N = 355) were surveyed to assess differences in drinking and driving-related behaviors between the AO (n = 174) and CU (n = 107) groups. RESULTS: CU were more likely than AO to drive over the .08 BAC driving limit (53% vs. 38%; p = .009) and after knowing they were too drunk to drive (57% vs. 44%; p = .025). CU were also more likely (56% vs. 35%; p = .000) to ride with an intoxicated driver while knowing it was unsafe. Conclusions/Importance: Combined-users are more likely to drive after drinking, drive while knowingly drunk, and participate in other high-risk behaviors such as heavy drinking that increase the potential for injury. Public policy makers and health professionals should focus prevention efforts to reduce high-risk combined-use behavior.

published proceedings

  • Subst Use Misuse

altmetric score

  • 37.83

author list (cited authors)

  • Woolsey, C. L., Jacobson, B. H., Williams, R. D., Barry, A. E., Davidson, R. T., Evans, M. W., & Beck, N. C.

citation count

  • 34

complete list of authors

  • Woolsey, Conrad L||Jacobson, Bert H||Williams, Ronald D||Barry, Adam E||Davidson, Robert T||Evans, Marion W||Beck, Niels C

publication date

  • January 2015