Pregnancy, Babies, Parenting News & Tips

Nearly a Fifth of Designated Drivers are Impaired

By Staff Reporter / Jun 10, 2013 09:09 AM EDT
  • Nearly a Fifth of Designated Drivers are Impaired
  • (Photo : Flickr) Nearly a Fifth of Designated Drivers are Impaired

They may volunteer to be the one to get their friends home safely, but "designated drivers" often drink-even to a level that impairs them behind the wheel, according to a report in the July issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

Like Us on Facebook

The study, of more than 1,000 bar patrons, found that approximately 40 percent of designated drivers had downed alcohol. What's more, most of those drinkers had blood alcohol levels that could impair their driving.

It's not clear why those designated drivers drank despite their role. Some of them might think that as long as they don't feel drunk they are all right to drive, says lead researcher Adam Barry, Ph.D., an assistant professor of health education and behavior at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

"People do try to use that as a measuring stick," he says. "But alcohol is insidious." That is, your driving skills are already impaired before you feel the "buzz" that tells you you've indulged too much.

"If you're going to be a designated driver, you should abstain from alcohol use completely," Barry says.

For the study, Barry's team went out into a college bar district six distinct nights (10:00 p.m.-2:30 a.m.) over three months, recruiting bar patrons as they exited drinking establishments. Ultimately, 1,071 people agreed to be interviewed and take alcohol breath tests-including 165 who said they were the designated driver.

About 40 percent of those drivers had been drinking. On breath tests, 17 percent had blood alcohol levels between .02 and .05 percent, while 18 percent were at .05 percent or higher.

Although people can legally drive with a blood alcohol level up to .08 percent, studies have found that alcohol begins to dull people's driving skills at a blood level of .02 percent. By .05 percent, the ability to drive safely is clearly impaired.

Of course, Barry notes, it's best for any driver-not just designated drivers-to refrain from drinking. But it may be particularly risky when a designated driver imbibes, because he or she will have a carload of drunken passengers.

"They may be loud, or start roughhousing. They're a distraction," Barry says. Couple all of that with the fact that most people drink at night, when any driver's vision is diminished, and you have a potential recipe for disaster, according to Barry.

A number of studies have found that designated-driver campaigns, although popular, have done little to actually prevent drunk driving. If trends like the one in this study continue, the researchers say, designated-driver campaigns will probably continue to disappoint.

© 2015 ParentHerald.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

6 Room Organization Ideas to Avoid Clutter

Organizing your home may seem like a huge chore. Keeping clutter away as your little ones play is inevitably time consuming.

Read More »

Southern California Wildfire Map Covers 980 Acres of Chino; Cooking Fire Caused Blaze

Wildfire has spread within 980 acres of land in Chino, in southern California.

Read More »

ISIS Already in Australia? 5 Teens Arrested for Terrorism Plots in Melbourne

Preventing teens from turning into violent terrorists may not be as simple as you may think.

Read More »

Autism Facts: Stress Relievers for Parents Include Journal Writing - How to Start a Journal?

Seeing a son or daughter inflicted with autism breaks any parent's heart. There's nothing more hurtful than imagining your offspring's life full of struggles.

Read More »

Kourtney Kardashian Instagram Photo Shows How to Breast Pump for Milk

Kourtney Kardashian, shows moms the best way to pump milk! The now 36-year old Kardashian did not let her birthday celebration get in the way of accomplishing a parental task-breastfeeding, according to People.

Read More »

NBA Playoffs 2015: 8 Game Day Snacks & Recipes for the Family

Snacks and finger foods top the list of families as the NBA playoffs for 2015 near.

Read More »

Disneyland Measles Outbreak Finally Over; Is Vaccine Really Needed?

There's no need to worry now if you're planning to take your kids to California's happiest place on earth.

Read More »

Plastic Surgery will Stop Bullying? Teens Want Cosmetic Surgeries to End Bullies, Says Survey

Anybody would give everything to stop bullies from spreading their wraths on others!

Read More »

Sofia Vergara Frozen Embryo: Ex-Boyfriend Still Wants Baby Even After Having Split Up?

Sofia Vergara may have split up with Nick Loeb, but he's not giving up, well, on his frozen embryos!

Read More »

Kim Kardashian Pregnant Again? Hair Dyed Black Due to Pregnancy [Rumors]

Is she or isn't she pregnant? That's the question whose answer everybody is wondering about. Kim Kardashian sparked pregnancy rumor as she donned on black hair.

Read More »

'Avengers 2: Age of Ultron' Star Jeremy Renner Says Being Daddy is His Best Role

Oscar-nominated actor Jeremy Renner may have had some of the most exciting roles in his movie career, but the Hollywod star admits that nothing comes close to his role as a doting dad to his daughter, Ava.

Read More »

Kate Middleton Royal Baby Birth Preps Underway - Roads Cleared, Parking Restrictions and Other Prohibitions Set

As birth of Kate Middleton's second baby draws closer, police in London have begun clearing the roads and setting parking restrictions around the premises of St. Mary's Hospital, according to various reports. The police is making sure that the Duchess of Cambridge will have a smooth transport on the day she gives birth.

Read More »

Real Time Analytics