The concept of a designated driver is a very, very simple one; that is, the person who is designated to not drink and to drive his/her companions home at the end of the night. Interestingly, a new study conducted in a Florida college town has found that nearly 40 percent of designated drivers drink before driving.
Researchers from the University of Florida interviewed and breath-tested over 1,000 bar-goers in the downtown bar and restaurant district of a major university town in the Southeast for around three months. The average age of study participants was 28. However, researchers found that 165 individuals identified themselves as designated drivers. Of this group, 35 percent had minimum one drink before leaving the bar and getting behind the wheel. Around half of the drinkers had a Blood-alcohol Content (BAC) between .02 and .05 percent. The other half had a BAC over .05 percent which is enough to affect driving ability while still being under the legal limit.
According to the study’s researchers, social pressure to drink in combination with a legal BAC limit of .08 percent often leads to designated drivers having one or two drinks before hitting the road.
On the other hand, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that nearly one-third of all traffic-related deaths in the United Sates involve alcohol-impaired drivers, resulting in nearly 11,000 deaths each year.
The findings has been published in the Journal of the Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.
Source: Fox News