Whether you are going out for dinner and drinks or plan to spend a night out on the town, you may think about appointing a designated driver. This driver is one who vows to refrain from drinking so that he or she can safely drive everyone home. When a group appoints a designated driver, they probably feel as though they can enjoy their evening without the concern of having to drive home while intoxicated.

Unfortunately, this plan is far from foolproof. Studies show a surprising number of designated drivers actually end up drinking at some point throughout the evening. In fact, a study reported in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs that at least 40% of people who took on the role of designated drivers were not sober when they drove their companions home. At least 18% had BAC levels of 0.05% or over. It can be difficult to stay sober while all of your friends are sharing drinks and having a good time. If you do indulge in a drink or two, you run the risk of a DUI arrest.

You may think that having a couple drinks will not raise your blood alcohol content level to a point where you cannot drive safely. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, two drinks or more in a two-hour period will generally increase your BAC level over the legal limit of 0.08%. This also depends on your body mass index and how you process alcohol. A few drinks can alter your ability to operate a car safely. With a BAC level of 0.02%, you may find it hard to focus and concentrate on the road in front of you. A BAC of 0.05% can cause the following:

  • Difficulty focusing your eyes causing blurred vision
  • Delayed response time to hazards on the road
  • Impaired coordination and judgment
  • Greater likelihood of engaging in risky behaviors

As a designated driver, be sure to refrain from drinking, eat a large meal and avoid getting a DUI.