When it comes to avoiding drunk driving, it’s always best to plan a safe ride home before you head out. A “safe ride” includes a taxi or the bus, your community’s sober ride program, or a designated driver. While designating a sober driver is a common choice when it comes to planning a safe, sober ride home, it might not always be the safest.
A designated driver is not whoever is the least drunk or most sober. A designated driver is someone who agrees to stay 100% sober during a party, happy hour, or other occasion that involves alcohol consumption so that he or she can safely drive everyone home.That’s why it’s important to designate a sober driver before drinking begins.
Unfortunately, not everyone can be trusted to refrain from drinking, according to the results of a study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. After determining the breath alcohol content (BAC) levels and alcohol-related behaviors of 165 designated drivers, the study’s researchers found that 40% of the designated drivers didn’t abstain from drinking. 17% had BAC levels between 0.02 and 0.049 while 18% had BAC levels of 0.05 or greater, at which point someone is definitely too impaired to drive.
The next time you go out for drinks, make sure you designate a sober driver who is responsible, trustworthy, alert, tolerant of intoxicated people, immune to peer pressure, and genuinely cares about you and your safety. If you don’t trust any of your friends to take on the responsibility and don’t want to do so yourself, make other safe arrangements, such as bringing a phone number and money for a cab.
If you are the sober driver for the evening, make sure you’re a good designated driver by abstaining from alcohol consumption 100% and following other tips for being a good designated driver.