Designated drivers are heroes: any person who sticks around a bunch of intoxicated friends just to make sure they all get home safely is something to appreciate. Not only does it mean we don’t endanger ourselves or others, but it also means there are fewer drunk drivers on the road.
Or does it?
According to research, a designated driver isn’t always sober, just the “least drunk” of everyone in the group. This means that many times, having a designated driver is just as dangerous as driving yourself home at the end of the night. We can never really know how drunk someone is, especially if we’re drinking and can’t really tell how drunk we are, either. So, if your designated driver has been drinking at all, you need to choose a different way home. Drinking less alcohol than everyone else in your group is still drinking alcohol.
Having a designated driver who has been drinking invites all the same risks as not having a designated driver at all. Your designated driver may swerve in the lane while driving you home. Your designated driver may fail to stop at traffic lights and stop signs. Your designated driver may drive the wrong way down a road and hit someone and then your designated driver has to face a car breathalyzer requirement, or even worse.
So, if your designated driver has been drinking, call a cab. Take a bus. Call a friend or a cousin or an aunt. Walk home. You don’t need to worry about your safety, or that of your designated driver. You don’t need a night in jail and you don’t need a “less drunk” designated driver. You deserve better than that, and so does everyone else on the road.