They claim it gives you wings, but for a Korean student studying at Cape Breton University in Sydney, Red Bull may have been behind an alarming outburst at the school cafeteria.
Halifax lawyer Joel Pink said too many energy drinks triggered his client, Jyong Chul Lee, to have an outburst and threaten his residence advisor at the school on Sept. 10.
Lee, 25, was expelled from the university and charged with mischief, creating a disturbance and criminal harassment. He's been in custody ever since, including a month-long stay at the East Coast Forensic Hospital in Dartmouth.
"According to the psychiatric report, basically it showed that he was under what at the time was called caffeine overdose or what we call intoxication," said Pink.
"That, of course, would affect his mood, affect his personality. The way I would look at it based on the forensic hospital's report that he had consumed so much that he was irritable, suffering from anxiety, things of that sort."
Pink said the report suggests 500 mg to 600 mg of caffeine a day could cause caffeine intoxication. The veteran criminal lawyer said he was surprised to learn of the report's findings.
"I've never read any cases in the last 40 years where the defense of caffeine intoxication was ever raised," said Pink.
"Not to say it hasn't, but I've never seen it. I've seen it in some cases in the U.S. but not here in Canada."
Pink believes proving caffeine intoxication in court still remains a challenge.
Judge Jean Whalen agreed to a joint request from the Crown and defence that Lee be sent back to Korea. He'll be escorted home on Friday.