This isn't exactly what the FDA and Mothers Against Four Loko (aka, all of them) want to hear right now, or ever, but a new backfiery study out of Northern Kentucky University suggests that driving under the influence of Loko might be superior to driving under the influence, period.
The study, titled "Risks for College Students Consuming Trendy Cocktails" and obviously commissioned with a hypothesis in mind, makes the unexpected discovery that an intoxicated person's notoriously sluggish reactions are somewhat sharpened by the effects of caffeine.
This is not to say that driving under the influence of Loko is not spectacularly retarded, scientifically or otherwise.
Nope. You will still probably kill yourself, and everyone in your berry-burpin' path of ultimate destruction. Or at least get busted and publicly humiliated, a la Ron Jon.
Partly because, as the study notes, the combo is a judgement-obliterator -- so caffeinated alcoholics are therefore more likely to think they can drive, and therefore more likely to do so while drunker than they would normally deem acceptable for driving. Thus canceling out their newly restored reaction skills with sheer level of drunkenness. Or something.
So, uh, while your car may now run on Four Loko fuel (no joke), you should not take this study as an opportunity to run your car on Four Loko.
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"Alcohol alone impaired both inhibitory and activational mechanisms of behavioral control, as evidenced by increased inhibitory failures and increased response times compared to baseline performance. Coadministration of the energy drink with alcohol counteracted some of the alcohol-induced impairment of response activation, but not response inhibition."
On the subjective side of things, researchers found that the study's 56 participants (damn... are we gettin' paid for this?) didn't like the drink better or feel it more intensely if caffeine was involved. Making us wonder what kind of lamebrains these Kentucky folks are using as guinea pigs.
Dear Loko scientists of the world: We are available for your X-treme testing pleasures. Call us.