Listen, we think it’s fantastic, like totally selfless and wonderful of you, to volunteer to be the designated driver. But the thing is, now that you’ve been, well, designated, as it were, there’s something you should know: You aren’t supposed to be drunk while shouldering that responsibility. It kinda defeats the whole purpose.
A new study suggests that adults taking on the job of designated driver are forgetting that key step — to abstain from drinking in order to be the kind of driver who keeps his carload of precious lives safe. In short, if you’re the person behind the wheel, you should not be taking shots with your passengers.
In the study by researchers at the University of Florida and published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs (via NPR News), the authors tested the blood alcohol levels of 1,071 people leaving bars in Gainesville on a Saturday night. Of those revelers, 165 people said they were the designated drivers, and 41% of them had been drinking.
Of course, there’s always the “I just had one beer” defense. As such, 17% of the DDs had blood alcohol levels of 0.02 or below, under the legal limit of 0.08. So sure, those could people could attempt to make the case that they’ll be fine to drive.
But then there were the 18% with blood alcohol levels of 0.05 or above, an area that moves from gray quickly to the land of “do not get in the car with that person.”
Researchers write, as a result, that there’s a need for “communications campaigns that a [designated driver] must be someone who abstains from drinking entirely.”