In the past, designated drivers were promoted as a safe alternative to driving under the influence of alcohol. Whether they are going for a night out on the town or they are simply having a few drinks, it may be best to designate a driver to refrain from drinking and remain sober throughout the night. Although designated drivers have a serious responsibility to the friends they are suppose to drive home, researchers have found that these motorists may not be as sober and safe as some may think.
According to a study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, researchers looked at bar patrons, including designated drivers. They found that nearly 40% of designated drivers tested had consumed alcohol at some point during the evening. Furthermore, 18% of those drivers had a blood alcohol content level of 0.05% or higher. WIth the legal limit of 0.08 in most states, a 0.05% BAC level can have dangerous effects on driving habits.
At a 0.05% BAC, the body will have trouble controlling small muscle groups, such as the eye muscles, which can make things blurry. In addition, altered judgement, reduced response time and lowered inhibitions can lead to hazardous driving behaviors. Some states in the nations have lowered their legal limit to 0.05% because of these dangers.
With driving companies, such as Uber and Lyft, people can find a safe way home without having to climb in the car with a designated driver. These other options may prove to be helpful for those who are going out for an evening of fun.