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Study suggests that designated drivers might be drunk drivers

"Assign a designated driver." That is how many drinkers would answer the question about how they go out and party but still get safely home. A recent study suggests, however, that the safety of a designated driver might be a myth to some extent.

Researchers followed various designated drivers and tested their levels of impairment. Especially based on the recent recommendation that Tennessee and the rest of the U.S. should reduce the BAC limit, the news regarding designated drivers could mean for a big shift in the ways people should drink and get home and/or in the difference in the amount of people who get charged with DUI. 

Researchers found that about 18 percent of the designated drivers had BAC levels of 0.05 or higher. This test result regarding the 0.05 level is relevant because of safety officials' recommendation that all states reduce their BAC limits from 0.08 to 0.05. If state lawmakers decide to put the recommendation into law, it looks as though designated drivers may become those being arrested for drunk driving.

Will Tennessee adopt a stricter DUI standard? That is up to lawmakers, and we will be sure to report any news if there is a development regarding such a drastic change. A reduction to the 0.05 would mean that those who drink will have to be extremely careful about knowing when they are at the lowered limit. Even if they are not impaired after having two drinks, their BAC limit could be enough to get them in handcuffs for a drunk driving charge.

Source: CBS News, "Study: One-fifth of designated drivers impaired behind wheel," Michelle Castillo, June 10, 2013

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