Designated Drivers – Not As Sober As You Thought - Call Lee Free

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Designated Drivers – Not As Sober As You Thought

You may have read this earlier in the week, but a new study confirmed what many of us have known to be true for years – a startling number of designated drivers refuse to stay sober while out at bar with friends.   A study in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs found that about 40 percent of designated drivers drink, and almost 20 percent of all designated drivers drink enough to significantly impair their ability to drive. 

Although most of the 20 percent of DDs considered significantly impaired were below the .08 BAC (blood alcohol content) legal limit, previous studies have showed that by the time one reaches even .02 BAC, driving tasks are impacted.  By the time one reaches .05 BAC, driving tasks are significantly impacted. 

Recently, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended lowering the legal BAC level to .05.  This standard would actually put the United States in line with many other nations, in particular European countries like Germany and Italy where drinking has deep cultural roots. 

It is unclear if the NTSB proposal will ever become the law any where in the U.S., but studies such as this do provide some food for thought.   My thought is if you plan on going out drinking, and you have a designated driver, you better have a back up plan.  Make sure to have a taxi number handy or subscribe to a car service like Uber.  The added expense is well worth it, especially when you consider the catastrophic consequences of drinking and driving.