According to recent studies that were conducted in the U.S. and Europe, it is very common for so-called designated drivers to indulge before they get behind the wheel. The University of Florida conducted a research study one Saturday evening, the results of which indicated that 41 percent of the designated drivers tested had downed at least one drink. Out of this group, 17 percent had a low blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.02 or less; but an astonishing 18 percent drank enough to have a BAC of 0.05 or higher. In some cases, the designated drivers’ BAC readings were above the legal limit.
These findings reveal the general misperception that a designated driver is someone who simply drinks less than everyone else. However, when you consider the fact that a BAC of 0.05 will inhibit virtually everyone’s ability to drive safely, it’s easy to recognize how misguided this assumption is. In fact, the National Transportation Safety Board has recently urged each state to lower its legal limit to 0.05 for this very reason.
Agreeing to be a designated driver is a big responsibility and you should never drink if you have accepted this role. Failure to take the job seriously could result in your putting your friends’ lives at risk, as well as your own.
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