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.

'Fast and Furious 7' Actress Jordana Brewster is 'Deeper In Love' with Son Julian

"Fast and the Furious 7" actress Jordana Brewster is revelling in the joy of motherhood. People reported that the actress has come to embrace both her strengths and imperfections as mom to 18-month old, Julian.

Read More »

Mom's 'Permanently Flabby' Bikini Body is a 'Blessing'? 'I Was Blessed Enough to Carry My Babies'

A mother of three, 32-year old Rachel Hollis proved to the world that mothers should not be ashamed of their post-baby bodies no matter what happens.

Read More »

6 Child-Friendly Restaurants in USA

Eating in restaurants is one of kids' favorite pastimes. Children delight in exploring surroundings outside their homes while enjoying good food and fortunately, America is home to several restaurants that cater to kids' gourmet fancies in every way possible.

Read More »

Zayn Malik Leaves One Direction; Child Depression May Result - 7 Ways to Help Your Kid

Just like adults, children are also prone to depression. Sometimes, kids get depressed about the personal lives of the celebrities they idolizes. Take for instance, Zayn Malik's departure from the famous boy band, One Direction.

Read More »

8 Clever Design Ideas on Decorating Your Table for Easter Brunch

Easter Sunday celebrates Christ's resurrection from the dead. On this day, families gather to appreciate the selfless deeds Christ has done for humankind. In addition to spiritual commemorations, meal brunches are traditions in many homes during Easter, as well.

Read More »

Carrie Underwood Buys Fruits & Vegetables to Help Lose Baby Weight

New mom and "American Idol" winner, Carrie Underwood, might just let you in on a secret in losing that baby weight. Enstarz reported that the singer was seen recently in Franklin, Tennessee looking slim less than one month after giving birth.

Read More »

'Fast & Furious 7' Ride Opens in Universal Studios

The April 3 release of "Fast and the Furious 7" will come in time as the film's ride version is going to be set for a grand launch on June 25.

Read More »

Spring 2015 Cleaning Checklist: Hire a Pro Cleaner

When the kids were out and about in school, you hardly had any time for yourself. Spring means finally being available to catch up on doing things you previously missed.

Read More »

6 Home Design Ideas That Are Best for Your Family

Your family always comes first when it comes to nurturing your home. For this reason, designing your home in ways that will make daily living convenient to your entire family is a must.

Read More »

6 Cheap Kitchen Design Ideas 2015

Your kitchen is more than just a place in your home for good food. Indulging in your sumptuous meals in a desirable environment where good ambience abounds is equally important, too.

Read More »

'Fast and Furious 7' Cast Vin Diesel Names Daughter After Paul Walker; Name Revealed Here

Vin Diesel's new bundle of joy's name has been announced! E! Online reported that the "Fast and the Furious" series star named his newborn daughter after the late Paul Walker.

Read More »

Taylor Swift Corrects Princeton Review Test for Wrong Lyrics

"Style" singer, Taylor Swift, is in the know about what others have to say about her music. The talented singer smartly defended her lyrics against a Princeton test review publication, as reported in US Magazine.

Read More »

Real Time Analytics