Study shows that designated drivers are not always sober

There are many ways to avoid driving drunk. Using public transportation or calling a cab are two common ways, although many rely on a designated driver to get home.

Originally, the idea was that the designated driver would stay sober, not drinking at all. But over the years, it seems the concept has evolved for many, with some now thinking it’s OK for the designated driver to drink, as long as he or she is under the legal limit. The problem with this thinking, though, is that many times the “designated driver” is unable to realistically judge their blood alcohol content and is in fact driving drunk.

A study from the University of Florida tested designated drivers leaving bars in Gainesville on a Saturday night. Of those tested, 41 percent had been drinking. Although about one-fifth of these drivers had a BAC of 0.02 percent or less, another 18 percent had BAC levels higher than 0.05 percent, which is the limit the National Transportation Safety Board recommends for safe driving.

Drunk driving is a huge problem in the United States

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk driving kills 27 people a day in the U.S. Every two minutes, a person is also hurt in a drunk driving crash.

Although people can take personal responsibility to not drive drunk themselves, they cannot make this decision for other people. Unfortunately, when someone else decides to drive drunk, the consequences can be dire for everyone else on the road. In these cases, where a drunk driver causes a crash, it is best to reach out to an attorney. For while the other driver could end up facing criminal charges, a civil case – where those hurt can recoup damages – may also be a very real possibility.