Happy New Year, and best of luck with your resolutions! One of the top, “New Year, New Me” self-promises is the one to lose weight and be healthy. Often, that promise leads to new food and beverage choices, like diet drinks and low-calorie mixers at the bar. Before you get all excited about your new six-pack, remember that light beer sixer you just picked up can actually still cause you to gain weight, and possibly face a DUI risk at the same time.
Low-calorie or diet drinks with alcohol can have two unexpected effects on a person’s judgment, increasing the DUI risk:
- When we believe we are consuming fewer calories, like with a light beer or skinny wine, we may actually drink more. Additional drinks, even with fewer calories, still contain alcohol, and many times those diet drinks are just as potent as their full-strength versions. The result is a somewhat less caloric happy hour with the same blood alcohol concentration (BAC) risk. Some of those diet mixers, like sodas, can actually increase the impairment factor of a drink. So your rum and diet soda may actually be more potent than if you had skipped the soda entirely.
We all want to be healthy and still enjoy the pleasures of life. When those pleasures involve alcohol, remember to use your best judgment, and even keep the drinks to a minimum, at least when you’re out on the town. The DUI risk (and subsequent ignition interlock requirement) and likely is a much bigger mouthful to swallow than adding on a pound or two, and a criminal conviction will stick around much longer than those last five pounds you’ve been trying to lose. Make this year a year where the New You plans to be healthy, fit, and as far away from a DUI risk as you can possibly be.