NBC News Reporter, Lester Holt reported Monday, June 10, 2013 that a new study in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs (Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey) finds that 40 percent of "designated drivers" drink before driving and nearly 20 percent say they drink so much it significantly impairs their ability to drive.
Adam Barry, an assistant professor of health education and behavior at the University of Florida was the lead author of the new study, Breath Alcohol Concentrations of Designated Drivers, which was published June 10, and updated July 4, 2013. Mr. Barry says, "There is evidence that says designated drivers often times are chosen because they are the least intoxicated - or they are chosen because they have successfully driven a car intoxicated previously." He points out that there is not a clear definition of "designated driver". "Is it the person who drinks no alcohol, or the one that drinks but stays below the limit?"
For the study researchers from the University of Florida interviewed about 1,000 people who were exiting bars. (40 percent were non-students, and the average age was 28.) Of those interviewed, 165 said they were designated drivers that night. The interviewees were then administered Breathalyzer tests. The results were that 17 percent of the designated drivers had breath alcohol concentrations between .02 and .05 and 18 percent .05 percent or more. The U.S. has one of the highest allowable legal alcohol limits of any developed country at .08 percent. Denmark, Finland and Greece use .05 level; Russia and Sweden are at .02 and Japan has a zero percent tolerance.
The American Automobile Association (AAA) says, "If you are drinking, don't drive." Take the on-line pledge to drive drug and alcohol-free because:
- Alcohol-impaired drivers contribute to about 1 out of 3 vehicle accidents.
- An average of one alcohol-impaired-driving death occurs every 45 minutes.
- Drug and alcohol impaired driving shatters lives.
What do you do if your "designated driver" has been drinking?
Hurt by Drunk Driver Attorney, Randall Spivey of Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. recommends calling a taxi or seeking other transportation. A "designated driver" who has been drinking, should not be a "designated driver".
Fort Myers DUI Accident Lawyer, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by less than 2 percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 1,600 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239. 337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.