Are designated drivers a safe option?

August 4, 2022
Are designated drivers a safe option?

If you are like many other people in Missouri and throughout the U.S., you may choose to bring along a designated driver when going out for drinks or a night on the town. Many people use this method to ensure they have a safe way home and will not be forced to drive with a blood alcohol content level that is over the legal limit of 0.08%. Yet, studies show that using a designated driver may not be the safest method of getting home.

A study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs reported that as many as 40% of designated drivers have consumed alcohol before climbing behind the wheel and driving their friends home. Surprisingly, 18% of the designated drivers tested in the study had a blood alcohol content level that measured 0.05%. One state in the nation has lowered its legal BAC level to 0.05% because of the debilitating effects alcohol can have on drivers who were measured at this level.

The blood alcohol content level measures how much alcohol is in your bloodstream and impacting your body. Although everyone handles alcohol differently, people may generally experience the same side effects of alcohol. At 0.05% BAC, you judgement may be impaired and it may take you longer to respond to certain stimuli, such as pedestrians, traffic lights, stop signs, bicyclists, animals in the road and other hazards. Your vision may become blurry and it can be harder to focus on smaller objects. Furthermore, your movements can become more exaggerated.

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


For personalized legal guidance, call our office at 417-882-9300 or submit this form to schedule a meeting with an attorney.

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