Diet soda and alcohol results in a higher blood alcohol level

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Tag Archives: dui alcohol levels

Diet soda and alcohol results in a higher blood alcohol level

When you have a jack and diet coke, you save calories, but did you know that you could end up with a higher alcohol level with diet soda and alcohol, than with non-diet versions of soda?

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It has been known since at least 2002 that alcohol levels raise higher, controlling for all other variables, when a drink contains artificial sweeteners, as compared with drinks with or without sugar.  That has been confirmed in peer reviewed studies in 2012 and 2013.

The most recent research paper on the subject tested the effect using differing doses, and to find any differences tween genders.  (Drug Alcohol Depend. 2015 Dec 1;157:197-9. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.10.015. Epub 2015 Oct 23.)

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Consumption of food with alcohol before or during drinking is an important factor that will decrease peak breath alcohol concentrations (BrAC).  With the  evidence showing that mixing alcohol with diet beverages results in higher BrAC when compared with mixing the same amount of alcohol with sweetened beverages, the purpose of the more recent study was to examine the phenomenon using two different moderate alcohol doses.

The testing method was simple: Twenty study participants, 10 of which were males, and 10 females, attended five sessions where they received 1 of 5 doses (0.91 ml/kg vodka + 3.64 ml/kg of diet soda, 0.91 ml/kg vodka + 3.64 of regular soda, 1.82 ml/kg vodka + 7.28 ml/kg diet soda, 1.82 ml/kg vodka + 7.28 ml/kg regular soda, and a placebo beverage).

BrAC was recorded repeatedly up to 180 min after dose administration, and the results were that participants had significantly higher BrAC when the mixer was diet as compared to regular for both alcohol dose conditions. No gender differences were observed.

When you have a night out drinking, be aware of the fact that mixing alcohol with diet beverages can result in higher alcohol levels when compared to the same amount of alcohol administered with a similar sweetened beverage.  The study noted that most individuals were unaware of these differences, which is a risk that could put people above the legal limit without knowing it.

If you find yourself facing a DUI, then please call our firm, toll free, at (877) 942-3090, anytime.  We are here to help.

Breath temperature and DUI alcohol levels

Breath temperature and DUI alcohol levels

Breath temperature and DUI alcohol levels

Why is breath temperature important in DUI cases?  Breath temperature and DUI alcohol levels can affect test results. As this website has mentioned in other articles about breath testing, your breath temperature is strongly associated with the level of alcohol measured.   Breath temperature and DUI alcohol levels are a known problem. Warmer breath corresponds with higher measurements of known alcohol levels, and cooler breath corresponds with lower measurements of the same known samples.

Modern breath testing machines have a temperature sensor, that can detect readings and measure the exhalation breath temperature, and correct the resulting breath alcohol concentration to the reference temperature of 34 degrees celsius.

The whole reason for the interest in the breath temperature of subjects testing for alcohol concentration is the well known influence of temperature on breath readings, under the scientific principle known as Henry’s Law.

Henry’s Law describes the proportional relationship of the concentration of a particular volatile substance in the liquid phase, to the concentration of the gaseous phase of the same compound at equilibrium.  Accordingly, when the temperature of the liquid phase increases (in breath testing for DUI cases, the core body temperature), the concentration of the compound (in DUI cases, for ethanol), in the gaseous phase (breath), will increase.

For people that have a fever, have medical problems or issues, or are ovulating, there is a natural increase in body temperature, which can affect the final reading of alcohol.

One question that has been discussed in scientific literature is whether or not  the 34 degrees celsius temperature is even correct, or whether it should be adjusted.  Why the 34 degree standard temperature in the first place, knowing that body temperature is not a constant?

The origin of the thirty four degree celsius figure as the average breath temperature seems to predate the modern scientific studies, which show the average is higher – some 34.4 degrees to 35.1 degrees celsius.  The use of the 34 degree figure seems to date to one publication, by Harger, from 1950.

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Contact our firm of Orange County DUI attorneys if you have any questions about Breath temperature and DUI alcohol levels, or need help for your case.