Study of the Day: 40 Percent of Designated Drivers Drink Before They Get Behind the Wheel

And 18 percent of them are impaired.

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Andy Dean Photography/Shutterstock

You know what would really improve a night of self-sacrificing sobriety? A little bit of booze.

That seems to have been the position of two out of five designated drivers who agreed to be breathalyzed by University of Florida researchers.

For a study released today in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, the authors conducted three months of exit interviews at bars in a college district. Over a thousand people, about 165 of whom self-identified as designated drivers, agreed to be surveyed. Eighteen percent of those DDs had blew a BAC over .05, the point at which most adults begin to experience difficulty with depth perception and visual functions. 

Though .05 currently falls under the legal limit in all 50 states, the National Transportation Safety Board voted last month to recommend that states lower the legal limit down to .05 from .08. The lower limit has been shown to decrease drunk driving fatalities, and is standard practice in much of Europe and South America.

Top image: Andy Dean Photography/Shutterstock.com

 

About the Author

  • Henry Grabar is a freelance writer and a former fellow at CityLab. He lives in New York.