Study reveals that designated drivers often drink themselves

A recent study carried out reveals that a lot of designated drivers also drink themselves, hindering the effectiveness of most drunk driving campaigns.

The study was carried out in a Florida city on more than 1,000 drivers, and their breath tests were taken. These drivers also included 165 designated drivers who said they had just left a bar.

Researchers interviewed the candidates and conducted the tests six times over a period of three months.The results from the research were not encouraging at all. According to statistics, only 65% of designated drivers interviewed and tested in the study revealed a zero blood alcohol content. The remainder 35% showed some amount of alcohol present in their system from which 17% designated drivers registered BAC levels between 0.02 to 0.049 percent and 18% of them measured a blood alcohol content of 0.05 percent or higher.

According to drunk driving laws, it is illegal for anyone to drive with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher in most states and this legal limit may be reduced to 0.05 percent as recommended by the National Highway Transportation Safety Board.

Adam E. Barry, assistant professor of health education at the University of Florida and also the lead author for the study said, “When you look at evaluations of designated driver campaigns, they’re really ineffective. Often people choose designated drivers because they’re the ones who’ve drunk the least. The most practical recommendation is that if you drive, you shouldn’t drink at all.”

The results of the study were published in the July issue of The Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. The average age of the group of people sampled in the study averaged 28 years and the ethnicity of those studied was not diverse, so the results of the study cannot be generalized to other populations.

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