Research Illustrates Loose Interpretation of Designated Driving

Posted on June 11, 2013

The idea of a designated driver has caught on in a big way around the country.  But new research shows that the definition of a designated driver is rather loose.

A designated driver should be someone who has refrained from alcohol completely.  Not a drop should have passed through their system.  Unfortunately, the aforementioned study shows that this isn’t the case.  Hailing from researchers at Florida University, the study queried more than 1,000 people two years ago as to their state of inebriation.  A Blood Alcohol Content test was then administered to see where they fell on the intoxication spectrum.

The results, which are featured in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, are disappointing.  Of the 165 people who said they were designated drivers for the evening, 35% were shown to have consumed alcohol.  And in many cases, this wasn’t just one or two drinks.  17% of so-called designated drivers, when given the BAC test, showed levels between .2 and .49.  The legal limit is .08.

One of the people behind the survey has a few ideas as to why this happens, and it all has to do with the process of choosing a designated driver.  He believes that rather than picking someone beforehand, a group of people might go to a bar and simply choose a driver who appears to be less drunk than others.

Don’t fall into that trap; designate a driver every time you and your acquaintances are going to drink alcohol.

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