[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Saturday, 21 January 2006, 13:40 GMT
Prison for Red Bull binge driver
Red Bull can
Drivers have been warned about drinking too much caffeine
Drivers have been warned about caffeine excess after a man was jailed for leading police on a 50-mile car chase after drinking 20 cans of Red Bull.

Peter Edwards, 48, from King's Lynn, was jailed for four months on Friday after Norwich Crown Court heard he was pursued across Cambs and Norfolk.

His car was seen "swerving from side to side" across the A10, the court heard.

The AA motoring group said too much caffeine can affect the way you drive.

'Stay awake'

Andrew Howard, head of road safety for the AA Motoring Trust, said: "The message is that if you take anything as a stimulant, whether it be caffeine or herbal medicines, then you have got to be aware that they ultimately have an effect on you and the way you drive.

"Caffeine in sensible quantities can help drivers stay alert, but if taken to excess, like many other drugs, it can have strange effects on people."

An RAC spokesman said: "Caffeine is something that we recommend drinking in small quantities."

At one stage police drove in front of Edwards to slow him down but he simply veered out to overtake in front of a lorry.

Police eventually stopped his car at Swaffham by using a stinger device to puncture his tyres.

Edwards, who was later tested and found to be free of any alcohol or drugs, admitted dangerous driving on 13 March last year.

David Bird, in defence, said Edward's mother had died of cancer two weeks before the chase and Edwards had been suffering from severe depression.

He was also said to have had a history of mental illness.

"He had been drinking cans of Red Bull as he was ferrying members of his family to various parties during the night and had consumed the drink to stay awake," he added.

A spokeswoman for Red Bull said: "Research has proven that just one or two cans of Red Bull can help alleviate the effects of tiredness - there is no added benefit in consuming the product in excessive amounts.

"One can of Red Bull contains the same amount of caffeine as a cup of filter coffee."

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific