The results of a new study indicate that artificial sweeteners, like those found in diet sodas, increase people’s blood alcohol concentrations.The study was conducted by Dr. Cecile A. Marczinski and lab assistant Amy L. Stamates at the Northern Kentucky University. The results were published in the medical journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. There were eight men and eight women, between the ages of 21 and 33 years old, that participated in the study. People who were infrequent drinkers were not included in the study. Also excluded were people with diabetes, psychiatric disorders, head trauma or any other injuries to the central nervous system, or anyone who has substance abuse problems. Participants came to three different sessions where they were given random drinks and then had their blood alcohol content measured. The drinks the study subjects were given were either vodka and Squirt soda, vodka and Diet Squirt soda, or vodka and a placebo drink. The drinks contained 1.97 ml/kg vodka mixed with 3.94 ml/kg of the soda or placebo. The vodka used in the drinks was 40 proof. The participants who consumed the drinks with the diet soda had significantly higher blood alcohol content than those that consumed the drinks made with regular soda. Levels measured averaged 18 percent higher. Those people also had greater impairment and slower response times. The conclusion of the study was that diet soda mixed with alcohol will result in higher blood alcohol contents than regular soda mixed with alcohol. The results of the study confirm findings from previous studies done about how diet sodas can affect blood alcohol levels. In 2011, a group of researchers surveyed people who were leaving bars. Participants of the survey shared what and how much they had drank, as well as letting researchers take breath samples. The study’s findings were that those that had consumed alcoholic beverages made with diet soda had higher blood alcohol readings. There are many things that can affect the results of a blood alcohol content test. If you’ve been arrested and charged with DUI, contact an experienced Arlington Heights criminal defense attorney to make sure your rights are protected.