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Study discovers designated drivers don't always stay completely sober

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are different types of designated drivers.
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    December 18, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- After drinking at a certain event or party, New York, New York drivers should refrain from driving home and find alternative transportation. Many individuals decide to take a taxi home, call a friend to take them home or if they are in a group, choose someone to be their designated driver.

The effectiveness of designated drivers

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are two definitions for a designated driver. The first definition states that a designated driver is a member of a group that abstains from alcohol during an event or party so that they can safely drive the members of their group home. The second definition states that a designated driver is simply a person that has to maintain a blood alcohol content level below the legal limit.

However, according to a new study conducted by the University of Florida, designated drivers may not be an effective method after all. The study, which was published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, surveyed 1,071 people with an average age of 28. Of those surveyed, 165 individuals identified themselves as being the designated driver for the evening and then had their blood alcohol content level taken.

Researchers found that of those who claimed they were the designated driver, 35 percent had consumed alcohol and 18 percent of the drivers had a BAC level above 0.05.

Factors that contribute to BAC level

In New York, an in all other 50 states in the nation, it is illegal to drive with a BAC level above 0.08. Although 0.08 is the legal limit, driving with a BAC level of 0.05 still has an impact on an individual's ability to drive. A driver with a BAC level of 0.05 may:
- Experience impaired judgment and lowered alertness.
- Have reduced coordination and ability to effectively observe moving objects.
- Have difficulty steering the vehicle.
- Be unable to respond effectively to emergency driving situations.

Drivers that are appointed a designated driver for their group should be aware that their BAC level is affected by a variety of factors. The amount of alcohol a person drinks, how quickly the consume it, their weight, gender, age and the amount of food in the person's stomach are all factors that contribute to their BAC level.

If you suspect that the designated driver for your group has been drinking and it is unsafe for them to drive, find another way to get home or wait until your body has absorbed the alcohol. The general guideline is that the body can process one drink of alcohol every hour.

If you made the decision to drive home after drinking alcohol and are now facing the charges of a DWI, contact an attorney that can ensure your legal rights are protected.

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