Study finds many designated drivers impaired by alcohol
A recent study found that many designated drivers actually are impaired by alcohol when they get behind the wheel.
August 23, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Study finds many designated drivers impaired by alcohol
Article provided by Thompson Law Firm
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The next time that you go out for an evening of drinks and conversation with friends, relying on a designated driver may not necessarily be the best way to get home safely, according to a recent study.
The study, recently published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, observed the drinking habits of 1,071 people over a three-month period. Out of the participants, 165 were designated drivers. Of the designated drivers, it was found that a significant number did not keep their promise to abstain from alcohol, as about one in four consumed alcohol before driving someone home.
When researchers gave the designated drivers a breath test, they found a surprising discovery. About 17 percent of the drivers had a blood alcohol concentration of between .02 and .049 percent. This level of alcohol is sufficient to adversely affect the drivers' reaction times. In addition, it was found that 18 percent of drivers had a blood alcohol level of .05 and above.
Drivers within the limit still dangerous
Although drivers across the nation are presumed to not be too drunk to drive unless their blood alcohol level reaches .08 percent, drivers within the legal limit can be significantly impaired. According to data from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), a driver with a blood alcohol level of .05 is about 40 percent more likely to be involved in a car accident than a sober driver.
For this reason, in May of this year, the NTSB, which is not empowered to issue regulations, recommended that states amend their drunk driving laws to lower the legal limit from .08 to .05 percent. The agency estimates that doing so would significantly lower the number of drunk driving accidents nationwide.
Thanks to progressively tougher drunk driving laws of the past two decades, the number of drunk driving accidents has declined significantly. However, drunk driving is responsible for about 31 percent of car accidents nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 30 people die each day in accidents caused by impaired drivers.
In Arizona, alcohol is involved in car accidents at an above average rate. According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, alcohol was involved in about 42 percent of fatal motor vehicle accidents.
Under Arizona law, those who drive while they are impaired by alcohol (or drugs) can be considered negligent. Under the law, those who are injured by a negligent driver are entitled to recover compensation for medical bills, loss of wages and other financial losses resulting from the accident. If you or a loved one has been injured by a negligent driver, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to hold the responsible person accountable.
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