When you are driving along one of Tennessee’s many roadways, you may not anticipate being hit by another motorist, especially if that motorist was designated to safely drive intoxicated passengers to their destination. People who are going out for drinks are encouraged to single out a person that will refrain from drinking and be in charge of getting the others home safely. However, studies show that even designated drivers may have significant blood alcohol content levels that could limit their ability to drive.

A study conducted by the University of Florida found that 35 percent of people who are chosen to be sober drivers leave with a measurable blood alcohol content. Approximately half of the drivers who were measured in the study had a BAC level of 0.05 percent or above. At this level, drivers show a decreased ability to respond to roadway hazards, and may even have trouble staying in their lanes. Although the legal limit is 0.08 percent, lower levels of alcohol in the bloodstream have been shown to have significant effects on a person’s ability to drive.

Researchers believe that while designated drivers go into a function with the mindset that they are not going to drink, many have one or two drinks anyway. Since people metabolize alcohol at different rates, designated motorists could still be buzzed when they climb behind the wheel. Not only does this put the designated driver and his or her passengers in danger, but it also puts the lives of other motorists on the line.

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