Defending Women Against DUI: Watch Out for the Diet Drink Cocktail

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DUI and Women

Women are more likely to drink on an empty stomach or to otherwise limit calories while drinking alcohol. The results for a woman’s blood alcohol level can be surprising.

A study published in the American Journal of Medicine shows the usual spike in blood alcohol after consuming an alcoholic beverage mixed with a diet or artificially sweetened beverage.

The study showed that drinking a cocktail mixed with diet soda may cause alcohol to hit the bloodstream faster than when that same cocktail is mixed with a beverage that contains sugar.

Artificially sweetened beverages left the person’s stomach faster than alcohol consumed with a beverage contained sugar.

Although blood alcohol levels peaked 30 minutes after the drinks were consumed, the individuals that consumed the alcohol with the diet drink had an average blood alcohol level of 0.05, while those individuals that consumed the alcohol with a sugary drink had an average blood alcohol level of only 0.03.

Artificially Sweetened Versus Regular Mixers Increase Gastric Emptying and Alcohol Absorption – Web MD article discussing the original study published in The American Journal of Medicine, Volume 119, Issue 9, Pages 802-804.

At the Sammis Law Firm, we pay particular attention to issues that can affect women charged with DUI and defenses available under Florida law.  For more information about defenses and other issues particular to women charged with DUI visit our main website or call 813-250-0500 to speak with an experienced DUI lawyer for any case in Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Pasco County or Polk County, Florida.


  1. Brian E. Simoneau
    Posted April 12, 2009 at 22:27 | Permalink | Reply

    “At some point after drinking has ceased, the person’s blood alcohol concentration will reach a peak; after the peak, the concentration will begin to fall as alcohol is eliminated from the person’s body.” Commonwealth v. Colturi, 448 Mass. 809, N.6 (2007), quoting Garcia v. State, 112 S.W. 3d, 839, 849, N. 4 (Tex. App. 2003). “The body eliminates alcohol through the liver at a slow but consistent rate.” Mata v. Texas, 46 S.W. 3d 902, 909 (2001) It has been generally accepted that an individual’s BAC will decrease at an average rate of .015% per hour. NHTSA DWI Detection & Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Student Manual (2004).

    This rate of .015 BAC per hour roughly equates to one drink. Everyone should keep in mind that this rate is a general average and that other factors, such as those discussed above, can change the rate.

    Users of alcohol ignition interlock devices, such as those driving on a hardship license should be mindful of this. Knowing when it is save to drive can prevent a DUI arrest or ignition interlock violation.

    • Posted August 13, 2010 at 20:12 | Permalink | Reply

      Brian, Good information on your website about the dreaded DUI ignition interlock devices. Thanks for the comments. So many of those NHTSA studies deal only with men. It would be interesting to see more studies based solely on women subjects to see more about the differences and how those different affect DUI defense and prosecutions for female drivers.

  2. NeraWeelm
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 21:03 | Permalink | Reply

    I am reading this article second time today. How does that cause breath test readings to be higher for women charge with DUI? If I will found another article on it, I will send you a link

  3. Nela Yasso
    Posted August 22, 2010 at 20:48 | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks for sharing this info to help drunk drivers that kill people.

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