Partygoers, beware. Your designated sober driver may not always be alcohol-free. According to a recent report undertaken by the University of Florida, about one third of proclaimed designated drivers drink, drive and cause a drunk driving car accident resulting in serious personal injuries. Of these inebriated drivers, half had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .05 percent “ enough to affect driving ability while still being under the legal limit. The study involved questioning and using a breathalyzer of in excess of a thousand drivers who after they left restaurants and nightclubs in the evening. Although the study took place in a college town, the majority of the participants were over the age of 28.
According to the study’s researchers, social pressure to drink in combination with a legal BAC limit of .08 percent often leads to designated drivers having one or two drinks before hitting the road. However, the scientists maintained that numerous studies have documented significant alcohol-related impairment at a BAC level of .05 percent.
Scarily, risky drinking and driving behavior isn’t all too uncommon, found a 2010 study from the University of Maryland. According to that study, researchers found that nearly half of underage college students had drank any amount of alcohol before driving, and about 20 percent drove while being drunk. Of course, alcohol isn’t the only thing that can impair driving. Studies have also shown that drowsy driing can impair road skills just as much as driving intoxicated. And while the jury is still out on whether it’s as bad as drunk driving, some research suggests talking on a hands-free cell phone while driving can also hinder reaction times.
It goes without saying that as a driver’s blood alcohol level rises, the likelihood of causing a deadly car accident rises. In fact, just a single alcoholic beverage can result in a driver’s diminished ability to react and avoid a crash. The study suggests that groups of people should decide before going out, who is going to act as the designated driver, and then act accordingly.
Source: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/06/10/nearly-40-percent-designated-drivers-drink-before-driving-study-suggests/#ixzz2YfDdQagy & http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/10/designated-drivers-alcohol_n_3416773.html