Forty percent of designated drivers consume alcohol, according to a recent study, but relying on how "buzzed" they feel can put South Carolina drivers at risk of accidents or DWI arrests.
August 28, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Designated driver? Think before you drink
Article provided by The Law Office of Matthew J. Davenport, P.A.
Visit us at http://www.mattdavenportlaw.com
When people go out together for a night on the town, designated drivers serve the important function of staying sober and helping their friends move safely from point A to point B. According to recent research, however, many designated drivers are not quite as sober as one might expect.
Four in 10 designated drivers consume alcohol
In a study published recently in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, researchers examined 1,071 bar patrons over a period of three months. Of the study's participants, 165 were identified as designated drivers. While many of those designated drivers abstained from drinking altogether, about 40 percent consumed alcohol in some amount.
When researchers administered breath tests to the designated drivers in the study, they found that about 17 percent registered blood alcohol concentration levels between 0.02 and 0.049, while 18 percent had BAC levels of 0.05 or above. While a driver is not automatically considered intoxicated at levels below 0.08, research has shown that some people may experience significant impairment of driving skills at BAC levels as low as 0.05.
South Carolina DWI law
In South Carolina, as in all other U.S. states, it is against the law to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher. However, in some cases drivers in South Carolina may be found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol even at levels below the 0.08 threshold.
This is because South Carolina DWI law provides that a BAC level above 0.05 but below 0.08 can be taken together with other evidence to establish that a person was driving under the influence of alcohol. In addition, South Carolina's zero tolerance law prohibits underage drivers -- those under the age of 21 -- from operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.02 or higher.
Impairment may set in before the "buzz"
According to the study's lead researcher, Adam Barry of the University of Florida, designated drivers who drink may often try to judge their level of impairment based on how "buzzed" they feel, using this as a measuring stick to determine whether it is safe for them to drive. But because a person's driving skills may be impaired before he or she feels the effects of alcohol, this method is unreliable. In order to stay safe and remain on the right side of the law, Barry recommends that designated drivers abstain from alcohol use completely, according to a press release.
Call a lawyer if arrested for DWI in South Carolina
If you or someone close to you is arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in South Carolina, get help right away from a lawyer with experience in DWI defense. A skilled DWI defense lawyer can advocate for your rights and help provide the best chance of a favorable resolution.
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