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Study Shows that Many Designated Drivers Fail to Drive Sober

Alright, so I know we just published an article about driving under the influence yesterday, but our lawyers recently came across a very interesting piece, and we wanted to share it with you.

The concept of a designated driver has been promoted for several decades as a way to allow the majority of the people in a group to drink and have fun while still having a way to get home safely at the end of the night. Policy makers conceive of the designated driver as a person who agrees to be completely sober for the entirety of the night, but for many bar-goers, this doesn’t always hold true. According to a university study, the term designated driver may no longer be synonymous with abstinence, but rather, with just being less drunk than your friends.

To find out how the concept of a designated driver works in practice, researchers tested the blood alcohol levels of more than 1,000 people as they left their local bars on a Saturday night. Of the 165 members of the population recorded as self-proclaimed designated drivers, more than 40% had been drinking. In addition, nearly 20% had a blood alcohol level of 0.05% or higher, getting dangerously close to, or even above the legal limit.

In laboratory tests, it has been shown that drivers can have their cognitive and motor functions altered by alcohol much earlier than the 0.08% legal limit would lead us to believe. Some studies have shown that driving skills begin to become impaired as early as 0.02%, and become significantly less able to perform their duties as a designated driver after 0.05%. In fact, in response to studies like this, the National Transportation Safety Board has publicly voiced its opinion that the legal limit should be lowered to 0.05%. (National Public Radio)

Almost every 90 seconds, a person is injured because of a drunk driving crash, and one in every three people will be involved in a drunk driving accident at some point in their life. Even if it isn’t you, it could be someone you know, a family member, a friend, a colleague. The costs of drunk driving range from terrible injuries and fatalities to the $132 billion in estimated economic burden placed on United States families every year. It is easy to see alcohol related accidents on the news and in commercials and think that it will never happen to you, but statistics like the ones listed above prove that this is nothing more than a fallacy. (Mothers Against Drunk Driving)

Our lawyers have spent more than 20 years representing families that have had their lives irreversibly changed by the recklessness of another driver. Driving already has the potential to be dangerous enough, don’t make things worse by being intoxicated.