Navigation Links
Nearly a fifth of designated drivers are impaired

PISCATAWAY, NJ They may volunteer to be the one to get their friends home safely, but "designated drivers" often drinkeven to a level that impairs them behind the wheel, according to a report in the July issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

The study, of more than 1,000 bar patrons, found that approximately 40 percent of designated drivers had downed alcohol. What's more, most of those drinkers had blood alcohol levels that could impair their driving.

It's not clear why those designated drivers drank despite their role. Some of them might think that as long as they don't feel drunk they are all right to drive, says lead researcher Adam Barry, Ph.D., an assistant professor of health education and behavior at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

"People do try to use that as a measuring stick," he says. "But alcohol is insidious." That is, your driving skills are already impaired before you feel the "buzz" that tells you you've indulged too much.

"If you're going to be a designated driver, you should abstain from alcohol use completely," Barry says.

For the study, Barry's team went out into a college bar district six distinct nights (10:00 p.m.-2:30 a.m.) over three months, recruiting bar patrons as they exited drinking establishments. Ultimately, 1,071 people agreed to be interviewed and take alcohol breath testsincluding 165 who said they were the designated driver.

About 40 percent of those drivers had been drinking. On breath tests, 17 percent had blood alcohol levels between .02 and .05 percent, while 18 percent were at .05 percent or higher.

Although people can legally drive with a blood alcohol level up to .08 percent, studies have found that alcohol begins to dull people's driving skills at a blood level of .02 percent. By .05 percent, the ability to drive safely is clearly impaired.

Of course, Barry notes, it's best for any drivernot just designated driversto refrain from drinking. But it may be particularly risky when a designated driver imbibes, because he or she will have a carload of drunken passengers.

"They may be loud, or start roughhousing. They're a distraction," Barry says. Couple all of that with the fact that most people drink at night, when any driver's vision is diminished, and you have a potential recipe for disaster, according to Barry.

A number of studies have found that designated-driver campaigns, although popular, have done little to actually prevent drunk driving. If trends like the one in this study continue, the researchers say, designated-driver campaigns will probably continue to disappoint.


Contact: Allison Vitt
Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs

Related medicine news :

1. Nearly 6,000 Run in NJ 5K to Support Organ and Tissue Donation
2. Nearly one-third of children with autism also have ADHD
3. Orriant Announced They Have Been Compliant with New Federal Rules for Corporate Wellness Programs for Nearly a Decade
4. Nearly 50 percent increase in ICU admissions, new study says
5. Nearly Half of High Schoolers Text While Driving: Survey
6. Study finds nearly 5 million asthmatics worldwide could benefit from antifungal therapy
7. Children and Teens in Emergency Departments Who Are at Risk for Suicide: Nearly 20% Have Access to Guns
8. Nearly 20 percent of suicidal youths have guns in their home
9. What do Ob/Gyns in training learn about menopause? Not nearly enough, new study suggests
10. Yasmin, Yaz Alleged Blood-Clotting Lawsuits Update: Resource4thePeople Reports Bayer Settles Nearly 5,000 Cases for $1 Billion and also now Settling Gall Bladder Cases
11. Health Insurance Shortfalls Hit Nearly Half of U.S. Adults: Report
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... , ... Sir Grout of Greater Boston donated an expansive, seven room ... House Charities® (RMHC®). This donation was made in an effort to give back to ... inception. , “We believe strongly in the Ronald McDonald House Charities, and they are ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... its newest technology platform, ENGAGE, at HIMSS’s Patient Engagement Summit . HealthAware ... , ENGAGE delivers innovative health programs and interventions via mobile devices that provide ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... Element ... products, introduced a new company, RightSensor™ LLC, an Internet of Things (IoT) hardware ... RightSensor™ provides a fully-managed approach for customers requiring sensor hardware for critical data ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... , ... NavaFit Inc. today announced the launch of its NavaFit app for ... local fitness & sporting events, and stay motivated. Users can download the ... us to get more serious about fitness and wellness, individuals are constantly looking for ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... , ... October 13, 2015 ... ... Omega-3, a first-of-its kind product that targets the unique health needs of ... of the American Pregnancy Association ( ), utilizes Nordic Naturals’ exclusive, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... , Oct. 13, 2015  A minimally-invasive treatment just ... the United States.  After more than 10 years of ... 9 approved the use of High Intensity Focused Ultrasound ... cells while protecting surrounding tissue and minimizing chances for ... George Suarez , a pioneering Miami ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... N.J. , Oct. 13, 2015  ContraVir ... the "Company"), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the ... announced the closing of its previously announced underwritten ... stock and warrants to purchase up to 3,000,000 ... fixed combined price to the public of $3.00. ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... , Oct. 13, 2015  Measurement in accountable ... and balancing financial incentives, but gaps in measurement ... care and health systems. A new, peer-reviewed ... Managed Care explores measurement gaps for ... sets. --> --> ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: