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Are designated drivers a safe option?

If you are like many Tennessee residents, you may enjoy having drinks when going out with friends for dinner or spending a night out on the town. Traditionally, it is the rule of thumb to designate a driver to transport you safely if you plan on drinking. However, a study shows that designated drivers may not always be the safest option.

A study, published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, found that designated drivers may have a blood alcohol content level that makes them not safe to drive. In many cases, the driver who is designated to remain sober during the night, may find it harmless to have a drink or two. Researchers in the study looked at bar patrons over a three-month period who were designated to stay sober drivers. They found that 40 percent of DD had consumed alcohol and of those drivers, 18 percent had a blood alcohol content level of 0.05 or higher.

While a BAC of 0.05 does not put a driver over the legal limit of 0.08 percent, it can still cause considerable impairment. According to alcohol.org, a 0.05 percent BAC can affect the following:

  •          Ability to focus your eyes causing blurry vision
  •          Response time to react to hazards
  •          Behavior causing exaggerated gestures
  •          Impaired focus and coordination

All of these factors can cause a danger when getting into the car with a designated driver. While you think your DD is sober and safe to drive, they may cause a serious car accident.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.

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