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Study: Alcohol consumption among designated drivers common

A new study conducted in Florida indicates that designated drivers may not be as safe an alternative as thought.
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    December 15, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Study: Alcohol consumption among designated drivers common

When someone in Baltimore chooses to drink and drive, they not only put their own life at risk but they put the lives of everyone else around them at risk as well. In an effort to discourage people from driving after consuming alcohol, many agencies and local establishments encourage the use of designated drivers. The belief is that designated drivers reduce the number of car accidents that involve alcohol.

Designated drivers and drinking

A new study conducted in Florida indicates that designated drivers may not be as safe an alternative as thought. According to Red Orbit, researchers at the University of Florida approached people who were coming out of bars on nights of a hometown football game and recruited them to take a survey, answer questions and submit to a breath test.

In all, 1,071 people participated in the study, The Washington Times reported, and 165 people identified themselves as a designated driver. Of that number, around 40 percent admitted to having consumed alcohol. Breath tests showed that 18 percent of the 40 percent had a blood alcohol content level that was 0.05 or above.

Fatal crash caused by designated driver

About a month after the release of the study, a designated driver in Massachusetts was found with a BAC of .11 after losing control of his vehicle and crashing into a bridge made out of cement. According to The Sun Chronicle, the man's passenger, a male co-worker, had been transported to a local hospital with a serious head injury but didn't make it. The driver admitted to smoking marijuana and drinking six beers before getting into the vehicle.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not found any evidence to show that programs promoting designated drivers are effective. The CDC also points out that there is no clear definition of rules for people who act as designated drivers. Some believe that it is okay for designated drivers to drink as long as they are not over the legal limit of 0.08 while others believe that a designated driver should not consume any alcohol.

Maryland drunk driving statistics

Mothers Against Drunk Driving lists the following facts for drunk driving in Maryland during 2011:
-24,727 arrests.
-2,662 crashes occurred.
-993 injuries.
-162 deaths.

While Maryland does initiate sobriety checkpoints and license revocation, MADD believes that the state should pass legislation requiring first-time DUI offenders to use ignition interlocks. These devices prevent the person from starting the car if alcohol is detected on his or her breath in a breath test, which could lower the number of drunk driving related deaths.

The concept of using a designated driver could be another effective deterrent to drunk driving if the people who accept the role understand the seriousness of it. When someone is injured in a car accident because of a person under the influence of alcohol it is important to seek out an experienced attorney who can explain what legal rights he or she has.

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