Designated Drivers: Guess How Many Are Really Sober
Researchers test subjects leaving Florida bars
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jun 10, 2013 6:41 AM CDT
Designated drivers often have at least some alcohol in their systems, a study says.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Designated drivers aren't always the teetotalers one might hope them to be, a study suggests. Researchers tested 1,071 subjects exiting bars in a Florida city on a series of Friday nights over a three-month period; 165 of the subjects called themselves designated drivers. Of those, 35% had had something to drink: 17% of them had blood alcohol content between 0.02% and 0.049%, and another 18% had BAC of at least 0.05% (the NTSB's newly desired drunk-driving limit).

Subjects' average age was 28 and they weren't a diverse group—most were white male college students—limiting the scope of the study, the New York Times notes. Still, "when you look at evaluations of designated driver campaigns, they're really ineffective," says the head researcher, who observes that too often, the chosen designated driver is simply the person who has had the fewest—but not zero—drinks.

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Showing 3 of 16 comments
Jun 10, 2013 5:38 PM CDT
I never thought I lived that sheltered a life, but apparently I do because whenever my friends and I get together for drinks, whoever the dd is that night does not drink any alcohol. We switch who is the dd everytime just so no one has to get left out all the time. I have a hard time understanding why you would drink when you know you're supposed to be the dd. Nor do I understand why you would designate someone dd when they have a propensity for drinking regardless of the designation anyway.
Jun 10, 2013 12:20 PM CDT
Better still: Avoid the dangerous alcohol drug altogether! Intelligent people don't use the alcohol drug and will never be DUI. Good advice!
Jun 10, 2013 9:48 AM CDT
I see a future business opportunity. Rent a Driver. Groups of friends go out and nobody wants to be the sober responsible person and take care of the drunks at least while they are sober enough to remember the details of what everyone did. So even the DD has a drink just not as much (still drunk). What drinkers need is a reliable paid buddy that will be the driver and babysitter and one who will not have to look you in the eye the next two weeks why you both try to forget what happened in the restroom. Why take a chance, why not rent a driver to haul you all around, sit in the bar with your group and make sure you all get home safely and with out incident. (in the fast spoken legal voice that give the terms): Driver not responsible for drunk dialing, drunk dancing, drunk eating, drunk singing, drunk social media, drunk promises, or results of beer goggles and last call.