If you are like many other people in New Jersey, you may have a few drinks when going out to dinner or spending a night out with friends. In these situations, you may have been told that designating a driver to stay sober is a good option, as that person will be able to drive everyone home safely. Yet, a study shows that even designated drivers may not stay sober during an evening of festivities and could compromise the safety of everyone they are driving home.
A study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs discovered that as much as 40% of designated drivers have consumed alcohol and some had enough alcohol to compromise the safety of other passengers in the vehicle. During the study, researchers measured the blood alcohol content level of designated drivers before they were getting into the car to drive others home. Approximately 18% of designated drivers had a BAC level of 0.05 or higher. Since the legal BAC is 0.08, this puts those drivers close to being over the legal limit.
According to alcohol.org, people who have a bac level of 0.02 showed an altered mood and may make poor judgements, such as believing they are able to drive when they should not. At a BAC of 0.05, people begin to have exaggerated movements. Their eyesight can become blurry and it can be more difficult to focus on smaller objects. Slowed response times can make it hard to stop for people or objects in the road, obey traffic signals and stop signs and notice pedestrian crosswalks or bicyclists.
This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.