Monday morning the headlines read: “designated drivers often drink.”
That’s a big deal, and in our area especially with several tragic drunk driving deaths over the past few months. It’s a scary thought that the one person who is supposed to be sober might actually be sloshed.
But according to KIRO Radio’s Luke Burbank Show, the findings of the study in Florida were taken out of context and were overemphasized.
In the study, where tests were conducted six times over a three-month period, people who identified themselves as the “designated driver” were stone cold sober 65 percent of the time.
Meanwhile, 17 percent registered a blood alcohol level of 0.02 percent to 0.049 percent, which according to Luke, is like having the alcohol content of drinking a beer the day before. And that 17 percent is still legally allowed to drive.
“Anything else where you have an 80 percent success rate in society – it would be considered a success,” said co-host Tom Tangney.
Despite there being another .031 percent more that these folks could have legally drank, last month the National Highway Transportation Safety Board recommended that the limit be reduced from 0.08 to 0.05.
While getting the remaining designated drivers to actually abstain from drinking for the safety of their friends might be difficult, getting a cab, at least in a metropolitan area, is not.
As Luke and producer Bryan pointed out, if you’re already spending $7 a drink, everyone should just put another $7 in the pile and split a cab home.