Are designated drivers a safe option?

If you are going out for a night on the town, you may designate a driver to ensure you and your friends get home safely. A designated driver is one friend in your group who promises to refrain from drinking so that they can drive everyone home. Yet, studies show that designated drivers may not always be a safe option for people who are enjoying a night out. Does your DD really remain sober throughout the night of festivities. 

A study, published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, found that nearly 40% of designated drivers had actually consumed alcohol during the evening. Approximately 18% of drivers had a blood alcohol content of 0.05% or higher, which could lead to severe driving impairments and could endanger the passengers in the car. Even at blood alcohol content levels of 0.02%, drivers can show impairments. 

According to, people who have a BAC of 0.02 show an altered mood and may make poor decisions. With a BAC of 0.05, people exhibit exaggerated behaviors and may lose control of their small muscle movements. This can cause blurred vision and make it hard to focus on small details. People with this BAC may be more likely to take risks and may have slowed response time when it comes to hazards in the road. 

The best choice is to appoint a designated driver who agrees to not drink any alcohol during the night or call a driving service to pick you up and drive you safely home. 

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.



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