Do Designated Drivers Really Curb Charleston Drunk Driving Accidents?


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With the holidays upon us, Charleston drunk driving accidents are happening with more frequency than they do at any other time of the year. Despite the fact that local and state law enforcement run massive campaigns to increase awareness of the dangers of drunk driving, people still imbibe with friends and family before hitting the road. Many people choose a responsible approach and select a designated driver ahead of time. However, a 2013 study shows that this isn't always the safest possible approach.

The Study

Over a three-month span, researchers concluded a voluntary and anonymous study in a Florida bar and restaurant district. As patrons departed to their vehicles, researchers asked them if a member of their party had been selected as the designated driver. If the group had one, researchers then asked if they would permit the team to use a breathalyzer to verify their BAC levels. In total, 1,071 people agreed to participate in the study and the results were astounding.

Designated Drivers Still Drink

The study concluded that 40-per cent of supposed designated drivers had measurable amounts of alcohol in their systems. Moreover, approximately one-in-five designated drivers actually had enough alcohol in their systems to be impaired.

Related Statistics

In 2013, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended that the U.S. should change the maximum allowable blood-alcohol content (BAC) percent from 0.08 to 0.05. Although it has not happened yet, the New York Times dug up some interesting statistics.

  • 90-per cent of people involved in fatal drunk driving accidents were not caught drinking and driving prior to the crash.
  • People who have a BAC of 0.05-percent are 38-per cent more likely to have a collision than a person who abstained.
  • People with a BAC level of 0.08-percent are 169-percent more likely to have a collision.
  • Approximately 30-per cent of vehicle fatalities are related to drunk driving.

Staying Safe

If you do choose a member of your party to be the designated driver, it's essential to discuss expectations ahead of time. Sometimes, a designated driver believes that it's acceptable to drink and drive if he stops consuming alcohol earlier in the evening or has less alcohol overall. Clearly, these techniques are largely ineffective and it should be understood in advance that the designated driver is not to consume any alcohol whatsoever. Failing that, it's wise to find another method of transportation, such as a taxi, or public options, such as buses or trains. Although researchers did not limit who they asked to participate in their study, those who did were mostly male college students. A wider sample range could yield different results in future studies. However, that does not alter the necessity to be safe when alcohol is concerned. If you drink, do not get behind the wheel and if your driver has partaken, do not get in the vehicle.

Charleston Drunk Driving Accident Attorney

If you have lost a loved one or have been injured due to an impaired driver's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us using our online form or speak directly with one of our attorneys by calling 1(800)610-2546.

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